Duo Seek Funds to Open Bed Stuy Grocery


Two Bed Stuy locals have taken to Indiegogo to raise funds to open a grocery store with fresh, high quality and locally sourced produce, meat and fish. The goal at Bed-Stuy Fresh and Local is “to keep prices affordable, both for the existing community, people who have been here for 20 years or more and to all the new people who are coming into the neighborhood,” said Sheila Akbar. She and partner Dylan Ricards promise to hire locally and give “local artisans and chefs a platform, and even hosts events from time to time.” They don’t mention grocery store experience, but they do say they have partners and contacts in the food industry. So far they have raised $3,081 of their $10,000 goal and have 33 days left for the campaign. The $10,000 will go toward store equipment such as meat and produce cases, refrigerators and juicers. In exchange for funding, they’re offering tote bags filled with local produce, massage, cooking and butchering lessons, and discounts on purchases. They plan to open on the corner of Patchen and Macon in October.

22 Comment

  • stuyheightsarch

    Very much needed! Malcolm X/ Reid Ave needs should have a proper market.

  • Wasn’t DIBS going to open/fund a grocery in Bed Stuy? Time to donate.

  • Thanks for the coverage, Brownstoner! We are planning to open on the corner of Patchen Ave and Macon St in October of this year.

  • yes! just donated. we’re on decatur and ralph and this would be a game changer. btw, what happend to manny’s??? why is it gone? why, why, why?

  • This is great news and I can’t wait to shop at Bed Stuy Fresh & Local! Donated and best of luck to y’all.

  • What do people get for their donation? Some stock or ownership interest? I just don’t understand why people would donate to help somebody else start a company unless they get some shares in it or a discount card or something. This new way of raising funds to start a business is just bizarre to me, but maybe I am old fashioned. The way DIBS was apparently trying to go about it is how you do it by the way.

    • Jaguar – i agree with you for 99% of these kickstarter type things; you want to open a business you get a loan. if it can’t make money, don’t open a business. BUT in this case, this store would dramatically improve my life, so in a totally self-interested way, i’ve contributed. also, sadly some of the best “business” ideas are not very profitable, or only eek a very meager cash flow. BUT i would hate if nobody ever opened those type places. small non-chain restaurants, wine shops, cafes, book stores, and yes, healthy super markets are not “smart” businesses to open, but who wants to live in a world without them?

      • I’m no expert, but I assume if they can’t get a loan to open this type of business, then something is wrong with their business plan or finances. I agree that it’s nice to have these types of businesses around, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time, I am very suspicious of this type of fundraising and admitted that I might just be old fashioned. If the neighborhood needs this so badly, wouldn’t it make more sense for the people interested in such a shop to get together and start a co-op or get a CSA started or something similar? Anyway, I am a natural cynic, so don’t let what I say taint your investment in this business!

        What’s next — fundraising on the internet to raise money to buy a brownstone, to pay off student loans (hmmm . . . . maybe I should try that), to get a car?

        • Hi all – as I posted above, we have loans through traditional lenders. Indiegogo is to raise awareness and get the community to participate! Our perks are roughly the value of the contributions people would make – so you DO get something tangible for your contribution, in addition to helping a great business get off the ground.

  • Good luck. Hard to understand how $10K will make a significant difference in a project like this. One large commercial refrigeration unit alone can cost $5 – $7K. Unless this is just a marketing effort to begin to spread the word about the business and build loyalty.

  • nalusurf

    Just contributed, good luck!! I believe my small contribution is WELL worth taking a chance on something like this that, if successful, would repay my monetary investment many times over. I’ve pissed away the same amount I contributed on far less promising prospects. I see no harm in “chipping in” a small donation for the greater good of the nabe.

  • $10,000 worth of donations to get the business going, besides the traditional loans, should equal $10,000 of some sort of rebate , give back, etc etc…im not that old, so you cant call me old fashioned, i just cant believe people give money to these things….oh well its the market and it is always right