People love local produce and are prepared to pay a premium for them. Stocking the produce of your area or region is a marvellous way of defining your stores uniqueness and attachment to your locality.

Local produce and products can be much more than food and drink. We have 24 local suppliers at our shop, all from within a radius of 12 miles and this number is growing.

Local produce creates goodwill in 4 ways:

  1. It shows the locals you are prepared to invest with the people they care about.
  2. The people you buy from in the local community will talk about your shop.
  3. Suppliers will recommend you to others. Word of mouth is still the best form of marketing ever invented.
  4. Sales margins on local products are usually higher than commercial goods. Therefore the sale price of local products is usually higher, so the margin applied generates more profit for your store.

Local products can be almost anything, some of what we stock include:

  • Toffee Vodka
  • Greeting cards
  • Firewood
  • Beers and ales
  • Wine
  • Ice cream
  • Storage boxes
  • Cakes
  • Honey
  • Free range eggs
  • Bakery bread
  • Local dairy milk

An internet search will provide plenty of producers. Local food producers East Sussex deliver a wide range of potential supply partners. Doing a similar search for your area will give you a useful list to start your hunt.

You should also ask your local council if they have an office you can speak to about local food producers.

This post is an extract from the e-book ‘So, you want to run a convenience store?’ by Peter Lamb. It is available for free download here.