Monday, June 21, 2010

PCM in East Bay Express

June 21, 2010 - The current issue of the East Bay Express features a story entitled "Gardening Eden" about urban agriculture and food access. The feature article includes some mention of People's Community Market and statements from CEO Brahm Ahmadi. Click here to read the article.

While the article does a pretty good job in its explanation of PCM, there are a few points to clarify:

1. The article states that, after coming to understand the grocery business, Brahm was forced to rethink his approach. What really happened was that Brahm and his colleagues decided to employ a strategy in which they developed a mix of projects and small-scale food enterprises through a nonprofit which could create the foundation, capacity and social relations needed to position for the successful launch of a grocery store. The approach of creating a grocery store was never abandoned but simply placed within a broader strategy. PCM is the grocery store that Brahm and his colleagues began envisioning in 2003 and People's Grocery is the nonprofit that was created to act as a partner and in that effort.

2. The article states the People's Community Market is scheduled for launch in the spring/summer of 2011. While that time frame is our desired target date, nothing has been formally scheduled.  The timeline will be determined by how when PCM is able to secure the startup capital it requires.

3. The article states that Brahm Ahmadi left People's Grocery as its Executive Director in 2006 to work full-time on developing People's Community Market. This is not correct. Brahm departed from People's Grocery in January of 2010. 

4. The articles states that PCM expects that less than 25% of its product stock will be from local urban farms. While this is true for URBAN farms, it is not the case for sustainable family farm operations in the local region. PCM expects a much higher percentage of its produce to be sourced from local farms in the region. It is simply unclear as to whether smaller urban farms can be reliable suppliers to PCM.

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