Just Ripe makes good food choices easy. The local food movement has a good foundation in Knoxville, Tennessee and we are proud to be part of the community growing it. Even as we see its strength, we know it is time to reach out, grab a bigger chunk of the community, and invite them to share our table. It's easy – all they have to do is eat lunch, . . . or breakfast, . . . or dinner . . . oh, the possibilities!
We're making the local food movement more accessible in our community by opening a storefront, a brick and mortar venue dedicated to the sale of local and regional foods. A place where people can come any day of the week and participate in their local food system, by buying groceries and prepared foods. They'll see it's easy and delicious to make local foods part of their diet. Without even trying, they can get their hands dirty in the local food movement.
Out of a small 1,200 square foot space in downtown Knoxville, Just Ripe furnishes convenience and community. This storefront builds on relationships fostered through many years of participation in area farmers' markets, food conferences, and food-centered travel in our region. We are fortunate to live in a verdant agricultural area and are choosing to feature the bounty of local and regional products in our storefront. Our shoppers provide demand for these products, and their purchasing supports the work and livelihoods of area farmers and sustains farmlands. We are facilitating the network of a local, sustainable food system.
Just Ripe's outreach to our community of eaters focuses on the positives of promoting a local food system and encourages people to acknowledge and enjoy the food in their lives. We host product tastings, featuring regional farmers, cheesemakers and bakers to connect eaters and food producers. We screen food films and host food book groups. We are creative in promoting engagement, sharing, dialog and excitement about food. Food is a sensory experience and a community experience, and we want to heighten its enjoyment on both levels. We love food and cooking and we love to share it with others.
Just Ripe has an approximate 50/50 split between food-service and retail in our storefront. Grab & Go prepared foods provide quality, convenient food options. Made-to-order meals allow our customers to enjoy simple, delicious, seasonal food in our dining space or to-go. Our retail space provides grocery basics and features local and regional products.
This project costs $160,000, which includes operating capital for our initial operations. We have $129,000, a lease, build-out of the space underway, equipment on order, our product selection and vendors established, and our winter menu planned. We need the support of the Kickstarter community. We still have a lot of money to raise, more than our funding goal asks. So, if we happen to have met our funding goal and you want to contribute, please pledge!
Just Ripe is a worker owned and operated cooperative. We utilize workplace democracy, with the principle of one member, one vote to operate our business. Worker ownership provides a great opportunity to work in a constructive environment where each worker's voice and opinions help shape the business and in which the rewards of the business are returned to the workers. We currently have 5 members and will expand to 10 members when the storefront opens. We are excited to grow this business model in our community. Help us grow!
- (30 days)