How Much Do I Need To Start A Mini-grocery Store?


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It depends on where you locate.  If you are in a larger metro area, you can get a small space for lower rent and run a very simple (even counter-at-the-door) operation.  You can also make a small location to start with carry lots of items by having narrow (maybe 6 to 8 inch shelves, so you can have 2-6 of lots of commonly needed canned grocery items.  Must have are the individual headache and heartburn meds.  Cigarettes can get very expensive.  Carry Marlboro as a main brand at higher retail and a lower cost generic for smokers who just cannot afford the higher prices with taxes and tobacco settlement fees (305 and Romy are 2 brands made by Dosal Tobacco /

Fresh donuts from a local bakery, good fresh coffee (empty the basket right away and use air pots to serve from).

Can sodas on ice, chips, candies, penny candies and perhaps a cooler of pre-made sandwiches (similar to what were formerly Stewart brand now Deli Express )  Come up with something local and/or unique that only you have in the neighborhood.

Rent and power is one thing.  Fixtures (shelves) you can make yourself.  Look for used equipment (including register) on craigslist.  Vendors may supply coolers or displayers for their product(s).  

I started a neat little hole-in-the wall commissary with $5,000 and that was in 2001.  I live out of it now.  It was hard the first year but once you establish yourself, keep the place clean and give good service, your customers become your friends.

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