Success Story: Vermont
VtSBDC Advising Assists Privately-Owned Grocery Store
As large chain grocery stores continue to put pressure on small privately-owned markets, Vermont grocers are having to continually hone their business skills in order to compete against companies like Hannaford, Price Chopper and others. Raymond Sweeney, owner of C&C Supermarket in Barton, Vermont, knows that as well as anyone.
He said he got into the grocery business because “I enjoy what I do and my vision for the business,” but he admitted he could use some help projecting the future of his business. That is why he contacted Ross Hart, area advisor at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (SBDC). With a possible Wal-Mart opening up nearby, the two quickly went to work developing a reasonable cash flow model for the 71 Church Street market.
While the store was already known for great service, friendly staff, good prices, its fresh bakery and home cooked deli specials, as well as its produce department, meaty grinders and warehouse specials, Sweeney said Hart helped him create “a vision for where to take the business.”
This vision was not limited to approaching business costs and finances, Sweeney said, it also included ways to better communicate with his staff, vendors and others. He described working with Hart as an exciting and enjoyable learning experience.
“My experience working with Ross has been great,” Sweeney said. “He has helped me in many ways to show me how my business is run and what changes were made or can be made in the future to better myself and my business,” Sweeney said. “It is an overall wonderful experience, and I look forward to a long relationship (with VtSBDC).”