By: Ariana Vega
On Thursday, March 30th, 5 Community Health Liaisons, including myself, went to Flor’s Mini Market for our weekly visit. We assisted her with pricing. We took inventory of what she had and we asked her at what price she got it for and at what price she sold it for. With that information we figured out her profit. We also showed her a chart 📊📈(one that John had given us) to show her how much profit she could be making depending on what she got her produce for that week. We went over scenarios if she sold the item 10% or 30% more of what she got it for.
We also noticed she had a lot of produce in a box in her refrigerator 📦. We wanted to change that to make sure her produce sold and that it lasted longer. She said it was okay so we thought of bringing her flat baskets so we can arrange her produce 🍎🍊, inside her refrigerator to give it a better display.
Wait that's not all! She also told us something really awesome‼️😁😆 . Wait no, I can't say till it happens🚫. Come back next week and the next and the next so that I can keep you updated with this awesome, incredible, super amazing amazing news.🚨🚨 Just know that she offered us an amazing opportunity. Can't wait to tell you!
We will keep helping her store grow more and more so that she can hopefully succeed and of course support our community. She is making a big difference in our community by helping us eat healthier food. A start makes a difference, I wish and I hope that all the mini markets like Flor's will help our community be healthy. 🌸🌷🌹🌺🌻🌼💐.
Working with Flor has been an amazing experience, not only have I noticed that I want to do more public speaking, but I want to help out the community even more. At first it was a little hard for me to talk to Flor. I was shy at first and I still am, however I am more confident talking to her. It's great seeing how we are all together creating a big difference and of course a bond. 💓 Hopefully our bond gets bigger, and not only that but I truly want to think that this will create splendid opportunities for us all.
COME BACK AND VISIT OUR BLOG SOON✨
By: Jorge Flores
A month ago, the Community Health Liaisons from Santee Education Complex and I began working with Mr. Dollar Discount. It is a corner store located near our high school.
Before us working with the corner store, it didn't sell any produce.
It was a regular corner store that sold unhealthy snacks such as chips, soda, candy, etc.
Since we started working with them, we have made a great change. They purchased their first order of produce with COMPRA Foods and have been slowly selling fruits and vegetables to the community.
We helped influence their first purchase and we visit the corner store weekly to make it look nicer than before.
I have been interacting with the corner store owners by asking them what else would they want to order, talking about ways to make the produce sell, creating signs to display pricing and helping place and organize the produce in shelves, baskets, and refrigerators.
This process has been easy and hard. The hardest part has been working together to manage how the store owner will gain profit by the changes that we are doing. It is easy to put produce in a store, but it is harder to get customers to buy it. Especially buy it from a store that has unhealthy snacks right near it.
A fun/interesting moment was when I saw how the relationship started growing with me and the store owner. They started to recognize us every time we visited and they have been able to express their concerns about the changes happening.
By: Melissa Villarruel
Every week that passes by builds up the strength of not only the stores but the bond we have with the store owner. The beginning of this experience was a bumpy road, as my fellow CHL's and I had trouble communicating with the store owner because of our nerves, social skills and language.
As Community Health Liaisons, our job includes implementing technical assistance to the corner stores who were selling produce. We have been trained in managing store layout and display, produce management, pricing and profitability, merchandising and healthy inventory.
Once we finally got the opportunity to implement what we learned, we realized so much more.
When we tried implementing new display options by having produce out and visible to see, we realized that due to store inspection regulations, we couldn't do things the way we planned. So, we worked together with Flor to find a solution that could help us display produce while ensuring the store passes inspection. Together, we came up with this:
It's a basket covered with thin see-through material. This will help because it protects produce from any insects.
Our social skills improved as we continued to talk to the corner store owner and understand things through her perspective.
Through this time period we were able to get more in depth so that both our mindsets were thinking about future involvement with COMPRA Foods and with us, CHL's.
So far, have helped her with different things such as pricing, produce management and store display.
In the beginning, we would see fruit being displayed in cardboard boxes. With the help of Daniel and LURN, we were able to get baskets and make the produce look better and last longer.
This made the environment where the fruit was being displayed be brighter and help attract more customers. We also made signs that were eye catching, and if I do say so myself, were really nice. The range of pricing was discussed in our last meeting with the store owner. We talked to Flor about profit and came to a conclusion on what would bring more money in.
Something interesting is that every time I go, I always end up buying something from her store. Not only is she attracting customers with her produce, but even us!
By: Ariana Vega
Waking up to the smell of flowers is an amazing thing. However helping a corner store owner with the name flower is just as breathtaking.
Flor is the owner of her own corner store named, Flor's Mini Market. She recently partnered up with COMPRA Foods and received her first produce order last Thursday. The first day she received her produce order was the day that we went to her store to let her know what the BUILD students can offer. The BUILD students have been learning about technical assistance, and this was our first chance to showcase what we have learned.
This store is literally one block away from Jefferson High School, so it was really fast to get there and we had very little to think of how to approach our first corner store. I was afraid to say something wrong, or that my translation to Spanish would not be understandable. When we got there she was already expecting us, so we all started to introduce ourselves. Keep in mind that I was a little insecure about what to say. However when I introduced myself and noticed she was nice I felt confident and wanted to tell her all about our technical assistance skills.
When John finished introducing the BUILD students and our role as Community Health Liaisons, I let my partner talk first, since I was nervous and had no idea what to say. My partner, Melissa Villarruel, gave me that sense of security when she talked that I knew that our practice was paying off. From there I added on some stuff and told her that we would help her by placing her produce in baskets, fixing merchandise, cleaning, etc. I started to gain confidence and I started to talk and tell her in the nicest way possible that I would be there to help her. I felt excited when telling her how we could help and I wanted to do it at the instant. She mentioned some stuff that I didn't know, which blew my mind💨, such as inspection policy for corner stores. Yet, we worked as a team and we resolved how we can manage her produce and still pass the inspection test. We mentioned some ways to help her and I think she was pretty satisfied with everything we told her. She was so amazed when we told her that the baskets that she was going to use would be at no cost.
I felt really good knowing that we would be able to help her, not only to sell her produce but with other stuff in her store. While she would assist some clients I remember I would look 👀 around and observe all around the store, imagining how it would be good to set up and where to put the produce. When she would come back she would mention that she would help us by clearing some few spaces for her to our produce which I thought was great seeing how she put an effort to her store.
When we were leaving already she thanked us for everything and we thanked her back for letting us be part of her store. Crystal told her that Melissa and I, were going to be "in charge" of her store; store layout, produce management, pricing and profitability, merchandising and health inventory. She seemed satisfied but I asked if she had any questions that we didn't answer. Her answer was no, which made me very proud because now I'm not leaving with that doubt of "what if she had a question?"
Once we knew our job was done, we all said bye and I took out my wallet and decided to buy a water. When I was ready to pay she didn't take my money and she insisted that I could have the water. Is that how strong I bonded with Flor? I felt bad for not paying however in some way the feeling of excitement was there. Knowing that I already bonded with Flor takes a huge weight off my shoulders. Now it's going to be easier to help her and answer her questions. The level of excitement I had was inexplicable, it felt as if I were riding a roller coaster, or the feeling when you barely start driving; it felt great!
By: Melissa Villarruel
Over the course of the month, we have been learning important skills relating to marketing, produce management, store layout and profitability from our partners from the LA Food Policy Council.
During the presentation with Daniel from the LA Food Policy Council, we learned different techniques relating to what changes our point of view through marketing strategies. For instance, have you ever wondered how our perspective towards a product changes because of where it's placed?
I mean, don't you feel more pressure because you're near the cashier and you're about to check out your items?
The sweat building up in your forehead thinking, "I might not be able to buy this again," or "the price is cheap," and there you go, swayed by peer pressure.
Same thing happens on the items presentation, as we also learned how we get the costumers attention based on colors, baskets or even posters!
Take for example the strategies to buy an apple, which ones do you chose? The apples in a large, organized pile, or the apples in a small basket on the floor?Personally speaking, I'd chose from the mountain of apples. The more, the better quality, right? Wrong. It is all based on the way produce is presented to create an illusion.
These are just a few points in which Daniel presented. Maybe now you can reflect on personal experiences where you've been swayed by a persuasive slogan or the placement of a product.
By: Adalberto Juarez and Savannah Chacon
Hi I'm Adalberto Juarez and I'm Savannah Chacon and we are the Blog Coordinators for the BUILD Health LA program. We are excited to begin sharing all of our experiences as Community Health Liaisons for the BUILD Health LA program.
On Thursday December 22nd all the students from Santee Education Complex and Thomas Jefferson got together for our 2016 Youth Leadership Summit. We met at the Downtown LA office for the National Health Foundation. Although it was a rainy morning, we couldn’t stop taking pictures of the great views from above. For many of us, it was the first time we were inside of a Downtown building.
This is the first time that we got to meet each other from each school. It was nice to get together as one big family and share the work we are doing in our community. We started the morning by playing games to meet each other; Indian Chief, I Love My People and Mafia to name a few.
We then met the staff from the National Health Foundation. That day we had the opportunity to share ideas about a project on how to prevent teen pregnancy and other categories in that section. At the end of all the thinking and all the amazing ideas we had, they treated us with lunch.