Reimagine Groceries: one year on, it’s time for evolution

Reimagine Groceries: one year on, it’s time for evolution

One year ago, Reimagine Groceries opened. We had dreamed of opening a package-free grocery store and, thanks to the community’s support, we were able to do it - in the middle of a pandemic!

Thank you to everyone who believed in us, who contributed to our crowdfunding campaign, came to our store, and connected with us on social media. Thank you for the support, the good energy, and for enabling this dream to become a reality.

It has been a very challenging year for many small businesses and we are looking to evolve.

We need help

It’s exciting to have the back space of our building renovated and to be hosting holiday markets, with visions of more events to come. We are looking forward to more foot traffic and buzz around Reimagine Groceries with this new community event space. As we focus on building this part of the business, we’re looking for a partner to co-create the grocery store operations.

The reality is that we - Kara and Heenal - are burning out. We’re tired, stressed, working all hours of the day and struggling with our physical and mental wellbeing. We can no longer do this on our own. We need help.

Seeking a passionate, courageous entrepreneur

What does this partner look like? We are open-minded to what the perfect partner could look like.  We know step one is going to take a lot of creativity to discover what the next chapter for Reimagine looks like. We would like the partner to have a clear vision, how they will get there, what they will need to get there, when they will get there, and most importantly why we will get there. If you are interested in being our partner to co-create the next chapter of Reimagine, please email us with your responses to the questions above.    

We are open to non-traditional ways for the store to move forward, too! Maybe the store could be a program of a not-for-profit agency (like the OEV Grocer used to be), maybe it could be its own non-profit, maybe it could be volunteer-run and/or a community-owned cooperative or a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), maybe there’s a whole new ownership model that we are just not thinking of. We’re open to all suggestions from the community and we want to hear from people with creative ideas!

Does this sound like you, or do you know somebody we should talk to? Email heenal@reimagineco.ca and let us know!

A pause, scaling back, transition

We’re looking forward to taking a break over Christmas and New Year and to starting 2022 with a reduced schedule.

From January to March, Reimagine will be open only 3 days a week. We will take this time to look for a partner; if we don’t find a partner, we will consider leasing or selling the building.

We need your support now more than ever! If you want Reimagine to survive and thrive for years to come, please make the effort to come shop with us, even though our opening hours will be greatly reduced.

The Community Space and Thing Library

  • We are committed to hosting events in the new Community Space at Reimagine into the new year. Now that we have the space, we’re determined to make good use of it! And we also need to generate revenue to cover monthly costs of the building. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in renting the space (either short- or long-term), please get in touch!
  • Our work on developing the Thing Library is continuing, and we hope to launch the Library before Easter. If we end up leaving the building, we are committed to finding a new location for the Thing Library and to continuing to operate the library or to facilitate a smooth transition to new ownership

Visit us, shop with us, connect us.

We need your support now more than ever!

  • Come now to check out the store, especially if you haven’t been yet! It may look different in January. Come to our final holiday market, too!
  • Buy your holiday gifts from Reimagine. And your groceries. Have you browsed our refillery recently??
  • Support us by buying a gift card! We commit to reimbursing all unused gift cards if we close down. 
  • If you have unspent credit from the crowdfunding campaign, please come and spend it in-store by the end of March 2022.
  • Connect us to anyone you know who could be a potential partner for us

Thank you for your love and support

We are proud of all that we have achieved in the 3 ½ years of Reimagine’s existence (half of them under a pandemic) and we know that our grocery store has saved a lot of waste and inspired many people to live more sustainable lives. 

We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Leave us a comment or reach out to us at heenal@reimagineco.ca or kara@reimagineco.ca 

December 15, 2021 — Kara Rijnen