Auburn Store FAQ
2505 Bell Road, Auburn. In the shopping mall with the Rite Aid, UPS Store, BevMo! and McDonalds (across Bell Road from the Target), in the former Kmart space.
The current timeline is aiming for mid-2022, but this always subject to change.
We’ve leased one third of the former Kmart space – about 23k sq ft . The rest of the space will be leased to other retail tenants. Our space is on the garden center side, which we’ll also be converting into usable space.
Our Board of Directors did a lot of research, due diligence and strategic thinking behind making such a big decision for our co-op. The three main reasons for increasing our impact and becoming a multistore operation:
We Can Increase Our Community Impact Beyond Nevada County.
- A second BriarPatch will offer more jobs and careers in a values-oriented workplace- and more advancement opportunities for our Grass Valley employees.
- We will expand our commitment to support organizations outside Nevada County that reflect our values and make our now broadened community a better place for all.
- We’ll expand the cooperative model, and along with it democracy, independent business and consumer education.
- We’ll be the area destination for finding delicious healthy foods to eat along the 49 corridor.
We Can Help Improve the Food System.
- We’ll give local farmers and producers more opportunities to sell higher volumes to two stores and will be able to support organic farming even more by having opportunities to increase our organic purchases
- Through our expanded footprint, we’ll increase awareness of good, local, clean food to more people.
For Our Continued Financial Viability.
- Expanding to additional locations is the best way for BriarPatch to meet the continually growing interest in the goods we offer.
- Increasing costs and lower margins make consolidating other costs necessary
- The Kmart location couldn’t be a better fit for us – and our balance sheet is strong.
We’ve done several market studies over the last couple of years and Auburn is a great place for a second BriarPatch. Shoppers there are seeking more of a one stop shopping experience where they can buy fresh, local produce and get great fresh prepared foods. Right now, that’s hard to find in a single location in Auburn. Our research strongly suggests that a grocery store modeled similarly to what BriarPatch does now in Grass Valley would be successful there.
According to our Co-op’s bylaws, the Board of Directors makes decisions about real estate and expansion. Owners have voted for the Board to represent them and make those decisions on their behalf. The Board, along with Co-op management, has done extensive financial and market research (i.e., “due diligence”) over the past few years to understand the risks and rewards associated with moving forward with expanding our Co-op to Auburn.
BriarPatch Food Co-op is one cooperative that will operate two stores. It is governed by one Board of Directors, and one General Manager who reports to the Board and oversees operations of the cooperative. Owners will be able to use their BriarPatch member-ownership at any BriarPatch location.
One of the wonderful things about opening the Auburn store is that it provides BriarPatch employees more opportunities to advance their careers within the Co-op. Many Grass Valley operations positions will be duplicated at the Auburn store. Other positions, especially admin, will serve both stores. We’re excited about these opportunities for BriarPatch employees and residents of Auburn.