It started with a question. "Do you want a grocery store?"
"Yes," was the resounding answer. "But we've tried for years to get a store to open here and it won't happen. We're tired of waiting."
We drew a circle on a map. It was a map of Denver and in the center of the circle we placed a dot indicating Re:Vision's office on Morrison Road.
"This circle represents how far you can drive from our office in 3-minutes," I said, "and within this circle there are over 6,000 households. Do you know how much money all the people living in the circle spend every year on groceries?"
"The answer is about $16.M"
I drew another larger circle engulfing our tiny 3-minute circle.
"Because we don't have a grocery store, this community - you sitting here at the table - shop within this bigger circle. The result is over $13.5M leaves our community every year. $13.5M of your hard earned money. The money that is spent here is on food at the corner store, which isn't healthy."
"What if we could keep that money here?"
People's eyes grew big. Smiles crept along their face.
Finally a voice spoke up and said what was on everyone's mind.
"We don't want a grocery store to open here. We're going to start our own."
Our mission is to open a grocery store in the Westwood neighborhood that increases access to healthy food that is culturally relevant and that is owned and controlled by the community.