SBO Award Winners 2013: Sedlar's Green Zebra stands proud
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Lisa Sedlar (middle) is already earning fans among such local suppliers as Ristretto Roasters.
Editor's note: To mark last week's SBO Innovation in Sustainability Awards, we're posting the full stories — including bonus content — that ran in our special publication on our website. To purchase copies of the publication itself, please contact Bill Berninger at email@example.com.
Lisa Sedlar readily admits the pressure’s on her and her new store Green Zebra to meet some high expectations.
Yet, with last month’s opening of the company’s first retail outlet in Kenton, she’s off to a great start. Investors, including several of the state’s most prominent angel funders, helped Sedlar complete a $2 million funding round to help open the store. She’s also immediately begun working with such local suppliers as Ristretto Roasters, which are selling their top-notch beans at Green Zebra.
The store is best described as an organically leaning and locally sourced neighborhood market.
That’s all well and good, but what do consumers say? Let’s go to that source of real-time opinions and critiques that tends to shape modern tastes and mores. That would, of course, be Twitter.
“Two thumbs up for the new @GreenZebraGroc,” tweeted Tim Butler, who goes by the handle PDXTimB. “Very nice store. More than I expected and it makes the old hood look good.”
The people are clearly speaking, as are several investors from the Oregon Angel Fund who made Green Zebra their first bricks-and-mortar retail investment.
Others who are happy with Sedlar’s business acumen include the 45 workers she’s hired to staff the Kenton store.
Our staffing needs are much more like a grocery store than a convenience store but we’ll have some of both,” Sedlar said earlier this year. “We’ll have a big grab-n-go selection of cooked from scratch foods so finding staff who are passionate about preparing seasonal and healthy ingredients is going to be key for us. We’ll also have a small produce department featuring local and organic fruits and veggies and all the grocery stuff you need to cook dinner, including a small meat department and a thoughtful selection of craft beer and wine.
“Because, what’s a convenience store without a beverage section on the back wall?”
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