Vegan Fine Foods, located in the sunny city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has been dubbed “the vegan Whole Foods.” Even though everything offered is vegan, the majority of its customers are not, making it fair competition in the health food market business.
The founder is Dr. Steven Smith, who has personally committed to the vegan lifestyle since 1997. Prior to opening Vegan Fine Foods market, Dr. Smith worked as an engineer for Procter and Gamble and PepsiCo. Ambition led Dr. Smith to open Vegan Fine Foods, which sells more than 4,000 products and attracted over 35,000 customers. Like most vegans, Dr. Smith enjoys spreading the cruelty-free message and plans to expand his business into other locations throughout the nation. His goal is to have Vegan Fine Foods stores in all 50 states.
Impressively, the Fort. Lauderdale flagship store turned a 1.2 million profit in its first 15 months of business. The business will be launching an online shopping option and its own branded products. The first private label product was launched in December 2018, Vegan Fine Wines, which is the store’s wine collection. Vegan Fine Foods plans to launch its own label for food, health and beauty items.
Dr. Smith believes that having their own private label products creates partnerships with high quality companies and will increase margins. The goal is to have 100 nation-wide franchises opened by 2024, all leading to high profits similar to the flagship store no doubt. Franchise options include the entire Vegan Fine Foods market, Vegan Fine Café only and Vegan Fine Body (health and beauty products) only. Dr. Smith states, “we believe each option is different enough from the others that it will tap into different market niches and not cannibalize sales from each other if they happen to be in the same geographic market.” Providing options to franchise owners allows for the partners to have more control over what would be appropriate for their location, talent, and budget.
As a local store, Vegan Fine Foods can focus on marketing to the same base that shops at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Trader Joe’s, showing the contrast between why they are the better option. This market will entice potential franchisees to build businesses in their communities that perhaps already have a local health food market. Vegan Fine Foods has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on WeFunder to raise $1,070,000 for the expansion. The WeFunder platform allows anyone in the public to invest in start-up businesses. Dr. Smith has added to his team highly esteemed and experienced marketing individuals to take Vegan Fine Foods nation-wide into communities that desire a different alternative to Whole Foods and other food chains. The company will officially become a franchisor this month.
Details of the WeFunder equity crowdfunding campaign are at: https://wefunder.com/veganfinefoods