Boston, MAINDUSTRY: FOOD SERVICES
BUSINESS: CITY FEED AND SUPPLY
YEAR FOUNDED: 2000
PROGRAM: 2004 INTERISE BOSTON COHORT
“The idea for City Feed and Supply was inspired by the available space, and the neighborhood.”
David Warner and his wife, Kristine Cortese, opened City Feed and Supply in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston in the 1990s, a time of rapid change for that neighborhood. David and Kristine remembered the role of feed and supply stores from their childhoods in the Midwest and Southwest, not only in supplying provisions but as community hubs. In addition to the typical convenience store essentials of bread, milk, and coffee, the new store offered fresh, locally grown vegetables and healthy, natural, specialty and organic foods. The new business owners built strong relationships with local suppliers, hired a staff of 20 neighborhood residents, and encouraged customers to linger and to make suggestions about new products they’d like to see in the store.
City Feed’s popularity grew steadily. David and Kristine knew they had the opportunity to grow, but neither of them had prior experience running a business. When David received an invitation to join the Interise StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program, he accepted enthusiastically. With the new knowledge and peer support her received, the second store, City Feed and Supply on Centre Street, opened in 2008. The new location is three times the size of the original store, with space for more local and regional products, an expanded café menu, and additional seating. The business also scaled up by adding catering and online shopping components. City Feed now employs over 40 people and has won numerous awards.