When an entrepreneur’s product can be purchased in a brick and mortar store, increased brand awareness is often an accomplishment that leads to more open doors and the expression of hard work. It is for this reason that Outpost Natural Foods’ efforts to be included in its product offering are of particular importance to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) entrepreneurs.
According to WUWM, the Wisconsin-based cooperative has recognized that COVID-19 has many differences among non-white ethnic groups. In addition, issues of racial justice were on the company’s radar. These factors led Outpost Natural Foods to take extensive measures to promote more minority companies as suppliers.
Margaret Mittelstadt, director of community relations at Outpost Natural Food, said the cooperative is always considering whether it is representative of the communities it serves. The Outpost website states that the cooperative has 23,000 owners. Homemade groceries and hard-to-find items are sold at its locations. Outpost Natural Food’s Facebook page states that the community-owned food cooperative in the Milwaukee area has four stores.
In the WUWM interview, Mittelstadt also said that Outpost Natural Foods is committed to being a model for change in the community. In their view, the premise of acting as an inclusive company in their community was something the cooperative wanted to do.
WUWM announced that business owner Shaquita Mann is thrilled to sell her creations to the eco-Blossom Candle Company there. TrueMan McGee’s Funky Fresh Spring Rolls are also sold there.
(Photo credit: Instagram- @ funkyfreshspringrolls)
In an interview with Carvd N Stone, McGee highlighted the importance of having a real opportunity to partner with stores like Outpost Natural Foods, which has nearly 40 BIPOC small businesses.
“My goal has always been to get our products on Outpost shelves from day one,” said McGee. “It was a challenge to keep up with the product [but] I’m a little relieved that I made it to this next level in life. “
Photo credit @ funkyfreshspringrolls