As new competitors move into the Richmond grocery scene, Ellwood Thompson’s looked to stay competitive. They hoped to connect with new target consumers and utilize new technology channels. Our goals were to:

  • Identify new target markets

  • Check-in with current customers

  • Research different technology channels for connecting to customers


Founded in 1989, Ellwood Thompson’s will be celebrated its 30th year anniversary at the end of 2019. As a health-conscious grocery store located in Carytown, Ellwood Thompson’s has tried to provide several avenues of food for various lifestyles. Ellwood Thompson’s specializes in vegan, vegetarian and keto diet options. Ellwood Thompson’s includes a grocery store, Hot Bar, Beet Bar (cafe) and Make Bar (sandwich making bar). Ellwood Thompson’s is also very community-inclusive, sponsoring live music, donations, and happy hours. 


Ellwood Thompson’s has long held the top position in the Richmond health food market. In early 2020 however, two major grocery chains are slated to open in the city. Publix will open directly across the street in Carytown and Ellwood Thompson’s biggest competitor, Whole Foods, will open two miles away in the Fan. Similar to Ellwood Thompson’s, Whole Foods has an extensive selection of prepared foods, a salad bar, and a hot bar. Ellwood Thompson’s is looking to keep current customers loyal and to identify opportunities for capturing new consumers that may visit grocery chains for groceries or lunch options.

Additionally, Ellwood Thompson’s is looking to expand its grocery sales by venturing into online sales and grocery delivery. The store hopes to identify the best application and to measure how useful this tool would be to existing and future customers. 

Goals and Objectives:

Goal: To help Ellwood Thompson’s stay relevant and competitive in the growing supermarket scene in Richmond.



  1. Identify potential new markets

    1. College students and young professionals 20 to 26 years old

    2. Propose more variety in prepared foods

  2. Explore new technology channels that will give the store a competitive edge

    1. Propose digital opportunities like Instacart, Swiftly and Shipt 

    2. Increase catering opportunities with Shopify

    3. Propose a digital app to be used to aid in the shopping experience

  3. Gain attitudes and perceptions from current customers about their experience with the organization


  1. Consumers value Ellwood Thompson’s as a staple of the local Richmond experience.

  2. People are intimidated by Ellwood Thompson’s because they view it as something that can only be indulged on during special occasions.

  3. The experience of grocery shopping at Ellwood Thompson’s is just as important to consumers as the product offerings.

  4. There is a disconnect between activity and environment for the Beet Cafe.

  5. The Ellwood Thompson’s network is a family.


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