Today was the semi-annual Villanova School of Business Bartley BriefCase Challenge. The event is held each semester for our junior business majors and involves their analysis of a Harvard Business School case. If you would like to learn more about it, here is a post I wrote a couple of years ago that describes how the competition works.
The case chosen this year was about Daily Table, a Boston-area nonprofit community grocer dedicated to providing fresh, tasty, convenient and nutritious food to communities most in need at prices everyone can afford.
Here is some info about the company, from its web site:
We believe that delicious and wholesome food should be available to all. We help communities make great food choices by making it convenient and affordable to choose tasty and fresh meals and groceries. By partnering with a network of growers, manufacturers, and other suppliers, we source high-quality food at low costs and make it available to everyone in our communities at prices designed for even a SNAP budget.
Our stores provide a selection of fresh produce, grocery staples and made-from-scratch prepared foods at prices low enough to fit within every budget. We believe in providing a shopping experience that fosters a sense of agency around your health (you can afford to eat well!), and the dignity of providing a helping hand, not a handout. We believe in creating livable wage jobs, with a strong preference for hiring directly from our neighborhoods.
Our unique retail model means that every dollar donated is matched at the cash register with more than two dollars of earned revenue. As we grow, we become more financially sustainable and less dependent upon philanthropy. Literally every shopper is a funder!
Our goal is to generate funding through the delivery of our mission, not simply for the delivery of our mission, allowing us to focus all of our attention on our mission instead of fundraising.
In the case study the students were asked to analyze, management of Daily Table had to think about what to do about its employee wages. The grocer had raised starting wages to $15/hour a couple of years ago, and then last year they added a $2 per hour rate hike because of COVID-19.
Now that COVID was starting to get under control, they were trying to decide whether to lower the wage back to where it used to be, and if so, how to do so. In addition, the students had to think of any other strategic initiatives that Daily Table could implement in order to further its mission.
It was another wonderful case that challenged our students to apply their business knowledge to help an organization that was committed to making a difference in its local community.
I wish Daily Table all the best, and if I ever get up to Boston, it will be on my list of places to visit.
Here is a video that offers some insight into Daily Table: