V Marks the Shop: A Vegan Convenience Store for Everyone
V Marks the Shop: A Vegan Convenience Store for Everyone
Please help us bring an all-vegan convenience store to Philadelphia, PA & beyond with a brick-and-mortar shop with an online store!
Please help us bring an all-vegan convenience store to Philadelphia, PA & beyond with a brick-and-mortar shop with an online store! Read more
Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love. We believe it is the perfect city to build an all-vegan convenience store that is reflective of Philly's diversity! With quality animal-free products that are accessible to everyone, our dream for a compassionate store supported by the global community can be a reality called V Marks the Shop!
Hi! We're Carlo and Carmella. We're two vegan New Yorkers who have fallen in love with Philadelphia and its vibrant vegan scene. The people that we've met have been nothing short of welcoming. We love the food across the city from vegan options at Memphis Taproom to seitan wings at Blackbird! Seeing the community support of veganism is inspiring! This is why we want to be part of it with V Marks the Shop!
Our dream of opening V Marks the Shop began with Carlo's Grandpa John.
Grandpa John came to the U.S. from Sicily in the 1920s with a strong sense of entrepreneurship. He started with an egg and milk cart in New York City's East Village. That cart later became a neighborhood Italian grocery store, ran with Grandma Connie and where Carlo's dad grew up. Carlo's dad, Carl, would then carry that spirit by becoming a classically trained chef and opening a run of Italian restaurants and a deli in Northern New Jersey.
Carlo never wanted to run a restaurant. However, he loved seeing how his dad and grandparents connected themselves to their local communities. Just as they grew communities from New York to New Jersey, we wanted to do the same by bringing our dream for V Marks the Shop to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.
As we deepened our connection to veganism, we thought how we can deliver a message of compassion and tie it back to family. That was where our idea for V Marks the Shop was born. We talked about how important friends, family and neighbors were to small businesses. We talked about the lessons learned from Carlo's family's history. We talked about our dreams of making veganism accessible to everyone.
Our vision for V Marks the Shop is based on sharing veganism with the world and bringing it back to family. We believe this store would be the perfect connection people can make to it. We'll do this in 3 ways:
- Creating a retail & meeting space for the whole COMMUNITY to experience & enjoy
- Spreading COMPASSION to vegans and non-vegans alike
- Delivering CONVENIENCE through the products we sell & events we host
Community is both local and global! Our goal is to bring people together! The brick-and-mortar store in Philadelphia will also be a meeting place. Whether you're running in to get quick snack or attending a cooking demo, we want people to get to know their neighbors. We hope to get to know you all too!
We're currently looking at four (4) neighborhoods to develop the store:
- Point Breeze
- University City
Community support will play a role in the final location!
The online store will be open 24/7 to everyone. We plan to include a support forum, list vegan events, share recipes and more! We want to become a resource to new and veteran vegans, as well as those interested in giving veganism a try!
Compassion is rooted in veganism! It's about respect for everyone!
For us, spreading compassion grows community!
Convenience is accessibility to great vegan products at reasonable prices from food to apparel, no matter where you are!
Our brick-and-mortar will be based in Philadelphia. However, in keeping true to being a store for everyone, we'll have an online shop that ships amazing vegan products across the United States. You can order your favorites and try new vegan finds!
V Marks the Shop will offer:
- Vegan products at reasonable prices for everyone
- Online shopping via vmarkstheshop.com with shipping across the United States (coming soon
- In-store pick-up and local deliveries within Philadelphia, PA
- Community meeting place
- Events such as cooking demos, book signings, etc.
- We want V Marks the Shop to be driven by the community. Your support of our Kickstarter campaign will help to bring the store to life! The monies pledged will go towards the following:
- Inventory (We want to get amazing vegan products in your hands)
- Equipment & supplies (POS system, shelving, paint, etc.)
- Initial rent
- Permits, licenses, all that fun paperwork!
- Miscellaneous expenses
We thank you for your support, and we hope to see you soon!
LET'S GROW V MARKS THE SHOP TOGETHER!
Risks and challenges
Upon funding, our biggest challenges will be to secure the right location and meet the city's zoning requirements (e.g. for truck deliveries, and business classification). In addition, the cost of equipment and initial set-up of the store will be large factors in the timing of our brick-and-mortar opening. We will be working to develop the online business and attending local events.
The success of V Marks the Shop will rely on community support! We understand the risks that come with starting a new business. Carlo has a background in community relations and customer service. Carmella's background is in e-commerce, operations and marketing. We feel strongly that our combined experience has helped to prepare us in connecting with the community-at-large.
We have consulted with similar businesses in other cities. We also have a mentor from SCORE through the Small Business Administration. Our family has over 50 years in the food industry, and continues to offer advice and guidance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)