Grassroots Grocery

We delivered a scalable business strategy that multiplies community impact

Born out of community need during the pandemic, Grassroots Grocery sprang to life and quickly began supplying fresh produce to those living in food deserts throughout NYC.

The Bronx nonprofit employs a unique model to rescue surplus produce and deliver it directly to the community. In its first year of operation, the startup grew from a single community fridge to serving 30 hyper-local community drop-off points throughout the Bronx and Uptown Manhattan.

An image of a map of the boroughs with three call-outs showing different vegetables
  • 1 in 4

    New Yorkers experiencing a food emergency can access a food pantry.

  • 41 million

    Americans will worry about where their next meal will come from.

With its value to the community proven by that early success, Grassroots Grocery set out to scale in a sustainable way.

Early success proved the model can work, and the team was eager to scale its community impact. But the organization’s founder recognized serious operational obstacles—they needed counsel and a well-founded strategy to guide them on a clear path forward. Grassroots Grocery partnered with argo to identify and prioritize opportunities to create a stable business capable of reaching scale.

argo brought the principles of human-centered design to our work at Grassroots Grocery. That empowered me, as the founder of a young and flourishing organization, to refine my expanding list of priorities. The new strategy helps ensure that as we grow our neighbors-helping-neighbors mission, we grow thoughtfully and intentionally.

Dan Zauderer

Founder and Executive Director, Grassroots Grocery

  • An image of a refrigerator with food inside

    Field research

    To ground insights argo conducted over 25 research interviews, participated in the volunteer program, and defined key user groups.

  • A small snippet of the service journey map

    Develop frameworks

    To synthesize research data and identify opportunities argo created a series of frameworks including user journeys, communication maps, business model canvases, and growth paths.

  • A screenshot of research synthesis

    Prioritize to goals

    After identifying 29 opportunities for improvement, argo lead a workshop to prioritize and created a forum to define the vision and milestones.

A new business strategy empowers the organization to deepen existing partnerships and develop new ones.

argo conducted a rapid, robust field research program to understand the experiences and workflows of staff, distribution partners, and customers of the service. Observing the needs, motivations, and pain points of key stakeholders created a holistic understanding of the Grassroots Grocery ecosystem, and identified 29 growth opportunities — specific actions that will drive consistency and stability in the team’s operations, positioning them to deepen existing partnerships and develop new ones.

An image of Grassroots Grocery food journey map

argo’s insights have equipped Grassroots Grocery with a grasp of the issues they need to address, along with a plan for systematically solving them.

A photo of an adult and child stacking produce

Grassroots Grocery continues to thrive in its mission to feed families.

Every Saturday, the team rescues an average of 8000 lbs. of fresh, excess, unsold produce, and feeds more than 763 families. Their mission thrives today, and is positioned to grow into the future.

Visit Grassroots Grocery 

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