Happy summer, everyone! Here we are, a full six months after moving online and announcing that our building was being put up for sale. We know many have been wondering what is happening for us behind the scenes, and this mid-year point seems like a good time to update you all on where we are at.
A brief overview
- We have officially taken our building off the market and are committed to staying here at least until the end of 2023.
- With the help of the Desjardins grant we were able to bring on Jessica who is full of energy to take Reimagine and our mission to the next level.
- We are working on diversifying our business to include more than just a grocery store
- Our vision is for Reimagine to have a greater level of community involvement/ownership
- But first, we need to get to a place of greater stability before we can offer the organization back to the community.
How has online been going?
Online sales have been about where we expected them to be: not quite enough to cover our monthly costs, but enough to keep us motivated to keep going. We are where we were at when the store was open, except our overhead has been reduced and, most importantly, Kara has had a chance to destress, and recharge.
The final quarter of 2022 while the store was open was extremely stressful and unstainstanable, not just financially, but to our mental and physical health. This move online has allowed us the break we needed, while still bringing in enough money to cover most of the bills.
In May, Jessica, a long-time loyal customer, left her previous employer in order to join our team – even though we could only guarantee her employment for six months. As well as providing extra operational support wherever we need it, Jessica brings with her new ideas and energy to help us to connect with more Londoners and to form deeper relationships with aligned organizations in the community.
Will you reopen the store?
Yes, we are excited to say that we do plan on reopening later this year!
We have some building renovations planned for this summer, so a reopening is unlikely until October-ish, but we should be open in time for the 2023 holiday season. We hope it won’t be our last!
What do we need?
Like so many small businesses right now, we need your support. We need your friends’ and families’ support, too! Unable to shop with us right now? That’s ok! There are lots of other ways to support Reimagine:
- Our social media posts get a lot less engagement thanks to the new algorithms, so sharing, commenting and liking our posts on Facebook and both Instagram accounts is a huge help in us reaching more Londoners.
- Do you work in a medium or large business? Would your employer be interested in customer or employee gifts with a zero waste theme? We have done several large scale contracts for national companies and they are great for the sustainability of our business. If you think your employer might be a good fit, please connect us!
- Does your workplace purchase cleaning supplies? We supply eco-friendly and zero waste cleaning products to several businesses around town and would love to grow this aspect of the business. If you are already buying these products, perhaps your employer might look at doing it in a more environmentally responsible way. We provide returnable containers which we pick up on future order drops.
- Share our email newsletters (like this one) with your friends and family.
- Do you live in an apartment building, or have a community board at work, gym, church, local coffee shop, etc? We would be delighted to provide you with Reimagine posters to put up on any community board you frequent. Thank you!
- Utilize our referral program. You can earn 15,000 points (worth $15) and those you refer also get $15 off their first order! Click here for instructions on how to refer people to Reimagine.
It is with the deepest gratitude we thank all of you who have been a part of this journey with us. We hope soon to have Reimagine to a place where community involvement and ownership are a possibility.
We dream of a world where businesses like ours can thrive while doing good, demonstrating that the path to success doesn't have to be paved with exploitation and greed.
We dream of fair, livable wages, community support, and spaces where folks can come together and support each other. Thank you to each and every one of you who have helped inch us closer to realizing this dream.
Heenal & Kara