New Grocery Store Specializes In Low Cost Health Food

How different would the world be today if going to Whole Foods was cheaper than going through a McDonald's drive through? Well, former president of Trader Joe's, Doug Rauch, is trying to change just that. 

This isn't a new problem.  Eating healthy has never been cheap, but with over 30% of the national food supply wasted in the U.S., there should be plenty of food that can be bought at affordable prices. That's the exact mindset that spurred Doug Rauch to open "Daily Table". 

The first Daily Table store opened in June 2015 in Dorchester, Boston and since has grown to 5,000 members.  “The answer here isn’t a full stomach, the answer has to be a healthy meal,” Rauch tells Fast Coexist. “When 49 million Americans aren’t able to eat properly, and because of it their health suffers—and they get obesity, heart disease, diabetes, in their teenage and young adult years—this is going to be a health care cost tsunami that hits all of us.”

Okay, so what kind of prices are we talking about here? Well, 8-ounce frozen okra: 29¢, 
8-ounce frozen corn: 39¢, Can of tuna: 55¢, Box of cereal: 70¢, and a Dozen eggs: $1.19.  Rauch can afford to sell food at these prices by working with vendors to purchase food that might ordinarily be thrown our for arbitrary reasons.  In return, he's able to purchase inventory for dramatically reduced prices. 

“Our job at Daily Table is to provide healthy meals that are no more expensive than what people are already buying,” Rauch said. “We’re trying to reach a segment of the population that is hard to reach. It’s the working poor who are out buying food, but who can’t afford the food they should be eating.”

daily table meals

Cooking isn't your thing? Not sure what to do with a bag full of groceries? Well fear not, Daily Table is also able to sell healthy ready-to-cook meals and hot grab-and-go items that compete with meals generally comprised of items that come off a dollar menu from a fast food board.  Entrees will be priced starting at $1.79 with accompaning sides ranging from .50¢ - $1. 

“Our healthy meal options will be priced to compete with the fast-food alternatives in the neighborhood,” Daily Table’s website states. “We’ll be doing all of this by recovering food from supermarkets, growers and food distributors that would otherwise have been wasted. Hunger & wasted food are two problems that can have one solution.”

daily table grocery store

With this kind of inconsistent inventory comes variety in food choices.  Chefs are always on their toes working on creating magic with whatever they might have at that time.  Still, Daily Table is doing well.  Anyone can shop at Daily Table, you just have to sign up for a membership which allows the company to keep track of where they're generating demand and what towns are finding the grocery store useful.  Some people see this as an alternative to food banks where the customer can benefit from cheap food but still allows them to buy with dignity. 

Although the Daily Table store in Boston is still a 'concept', Rauch hopes to open more stores in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.