Clairton Fresh Market Viability Study
Just Harvest, a nonprofit located in Pittsburgh and serving Allegheny County, is committed to reducing hunger through sustainable, long-term approaches that lift up those in need.
The City of Clairton received investment through Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Partnership Program. As part of this investment, the city formed a steering committee comprised of residents and organizations to identify community priorities, including increasing access to fresh, healthy foods for residents, as Clairton is a food desert with limited transit access.
Fourth Economy Consulting, in partnership with Palo Alto Partners, led an effort to develop recommendations for establishing a fresh food market in Clairton that would be financially sustainable. Our team conducted a market analysis, including a need and opportunity assessment. We used this information to better understand the feasibility of a food market in Clairton and determined additional criteria, such as space availability, size of the market, and the condition and renovation costs associated with the potential spaces. This information was used to develop a business plan for the market, which included a store operating model, an overview of associated costs, and other important considerations. Ultimately, we created a financial model that accounted for the associated costs, including capital, equipment, and inventory. This element of the project included a profit and loss model that showed the level of revenue that the market would need to generate to be profitable under different conditions.
Our team provided a high-level need and opportunity assessment, recommendations for sales viability, location, subsidy, and operations decisions, and built a financial plan for the store’s first several years. Based on our recommendations, the Produce Marketplace opened in October of 2018.