Friday, May 21, 2010

First Loan Secured

May 21, 2010 - I have secured PCM's first small loan from a gentleman who has been a strong supporter of People's Grocery for years and is now an enthusiastic support of PCM. This loan is what I call "pre-money money". It's intended as a stop gap between having no money at all and raising capital for the real launch of the company. In order to raise that capital a lot of things have to be in place already, like a solid business plan, financial model, presentation, office space, etc. But these things all take money, especially if you want to do them right. So in order to prepare to go raise some money, I actually needed to have some money in the first place.

Most entrepreneurs end up funding their "pre-money money" needs out of their own pocket. I'm fortunate to have the support of a gentleman who believes in PCM and in myself who agreed to provide that first bit of funding himself. I'm very grateful to him.

Now things can really get cooking as I hire three key consutlants to help me finish up the planning:
  • Retail Planning Specialist (helps with the floor plan, equipment plan and inventory plan)
  • Deli and Prepared Foods Consultant (to help develop a unique menu and signature deli experience)
  • Brand Development Consultant (to help further develop PCM's brand identity and strategy)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Public Debut

May 20, 2010 -- My name is Brahm Ahmadi. I am co-founder of People's Grocery that I directed for eight years. In January 2010 I hired a new  Executive Director to take my place at People's Grocery. My planned departure from the organization was based on one goal that is shared with the Board and staff: to create a sister company, called People's Community Market (PCM) that could open and operate a food retail store in West Oakland (the same community served by People's Grocery).

Since that time I have been taking many initial steps toward making PCM a reality. I've made lot of progress in the last couple of months. Up to this point I've been staying pretty much out of the public's eye as I complete the formation and planning process. Of course, the planning and design process is still underway and will be for some time. But it's safe to say that I'm reaching the tail end of a phase where I hadn't wanted to share too much about what I've been up to so as to avoid promoting prematurely.

But now it's time to to start sharing a bit with the public about my progress in this exciting new venture. I'll be sharing much of what I'm up to and the basic concepts behind PCM  through this blog and through PCM's website. The time to start seeking capital to this venture is fast approaching. Which means that things are going to getting pretty exciting as I enter the next critical stage of the start up. And this next stage  is as much about telling the story of PCM and sharing the passion of it, as it is about making a solid business proposition and reporting on accomplishments. So stay tuned as this story begins to unfold.