The Café Symmetry Opportunity:
The UDI Urban Farm was launched in 2014 with the goals of creating local jobs and increasing access to locally grown vegetables and farm-raised fish. The farm will use aquaponics a method of growing produce and raising fish in urban settings. Fish are grown in tanks. Nutrient-rich water from these tanks is pumped into hydroponic beds where vegetables, herbs, flowers and other crops absorb the nutrients for growth and purify the culture water, which is returned to the fish rearing tanks. It combines fish and plants in a “closed” integrated system, which means that both fish and produce can be grown throughout the year. There is minimal water loss, requiring only one tenth the water of conventional methods
What MarketVigor Did:
MarketVigor was engaged by UDI/CDC to conduct market research–which would quantify potential demand, develop financial projections for UDI urban farms, and provide strategic recommendations to improve the rollout plan. Potential customers included those buying directly, and wholesale buyers from grocery stores, restaurants, food distributors and institutional food service operators. MarketVigor conducted in-person interviews with key potential local wholesale buyers. The interviews identified key factors that would either encourage or discourage prospects from becoming UDI Urban Farm customers. Consumer demand was quantified by collecting and analyzing market level trends and demographics. The research revealed strong demand from both consumers and wholesale buyers.
What Happened Next:
The rollout continued with MarketVigor providing specific recommendations on which crops to grow, wholesale buyer expectations & requirements, marketing efforts needed to drive community and customer awareness.
With the financial projections tool created by MarketVigor, UDI Urban Farms was able to forecast cash flow and identify when the business will be cash flow positive, evaluate different rollout plans based on targeting specific wholesale customers, analyze financing options (lease vs. buy for equipment, debt financing, crowd funding), generate projected financial statements that could be used for strategic decision-making, and generate expense and revenue forecasts that can be used for operational decision-making.
The farm will produce its first crops in the spring of 2015.
UDI Community Development Corporation (UDI/CDC) is a non-profit organization, incorporated in 1974. The mission is to raise the economic welfare, education, and social levels of the low-income and underprivileged residents of Durham NC. UDI/CDC has dedicated over forty years of service and has developed quality programs for the community.