After many months of deliberation, I have decided to sell the store. I’m guessing you’re probably wondering why. In fact, you might even be somewhat shocked or surprised to hear that I would be willing to let my business baby go.
This decision certainly wasn't made lightly and I am thankful to have the opportunity to share with you some of the reasons that have brought me to this particular conclusion. Ordinarily it would take a nice long visit over several cups of tea to share the whole story, but I will do my best to give you the shortened version.
My first and most important reason is my family. When I got the idea for Scoop, I had a toddler and an infant. Now I have two amazing young kids who are eager to learn as much about the world as they possibly can. I absolutely love spending time with them going on outings, reading books, snuggling, baking, and having tea parties, and I want more of it! I am also ready to take on a bigger role in their home schooling experience. My littlest one is often asking me to give her my full attention and I look forward to doing just that!
Like many other households, our family has been through quite a few changes in the last couple of years. Changes in career and loss of income due to the pandemic, changes in our capacity for chaos and uncertainty, changes in our need for quality family time, changes in the way we prioritize spending our time and energy, changes in relationships, changes in life goals and our vision for the future… The list goes on and on. We have gotten to a place where owning Scoop Marketplace is no longer aligned with what we want for our family moving forward. We are seeking out new career opportunities and our adventures will likely take us away from the PNW in the not too distant future.
The other piece of the puzzle, beyond what is best for my family, is what is best for me. This whole thing has just been a lot - building a business, raising two kids, navigating a global pandemic, and doing our best to maintain a healthy marriage - let alone actually learning how to love and care for myself along the way.
It is crazy to think of how much has happened since Scoop came into my life 5 years ago... here are a few of the highlights: Opening the first Scoop Marketplace in Seattle back in 2019, pivoting to offer new services to meet everyone’s needs in the spring of 2020 (introducing an e-commerce site that I built literally overnight, plus delivery and curbside pickup services) and keeping everything going despite masks and occupancy limits and exposures and illnesses, moving to a new location at the end of 2020, getting put through the wringer trying to get building permits that should have only taken a few days (note: they took 13 weeks), launching a podcast in the midst of it because I just really needed a creative outlet and something I felt I could control, enduring months of construction at our new location during a pandemic when equipment and laborers were more expensive and harder to come by, trying to keep the shop operating in some capacity during a remodel project that felt like it would never end, and then the kitchen fire last August right before our scheduled reopening, plus a few traumatic events in my personal life - it all really did a number on me.
I am tired, and as difficult as it is for me to say it, I am done. If I’m going to be really honest, I will tell you that actually, I burnt out months ago. I am a creative visionary, and while I absolutely loved connecting with and building this amazing Scoop community, and sharing everything that I most enjoy about my low waste lifestyle through my social media, blog, weekly emails and podcast, there are many aspects about running this business that simply don’t play to my strengths. I have learned so much along the way and done things that I never could have imagined, and there are still so many elements of running a physical business like this that just don’t suit me.
But you know what I do love? I love to sing. I started working with a Broadway vocal coach over zoom about 6 months ago, and it has changed my life! And the more that I sing, the more clarity I have about the ways in which I do and do not want to spend my time and energy. One thing that has become abundantly clear: it is time for me to let go of the store.
Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly passionate about sustainable living and I love the impact that Scoop Marketplace has had, but I never wanted to run a zero waste store. I wanted to create one because I wanted to serve people and take better care of the planet, but I knew from day one that I did not want to spend my days actually managing the operations of the store. I have been fortunate enough to have incredible team members who keep the store running and take wonderful care of our community members so that I can work from home and be available to my kids.
I also love to teach, and it has become clear to me that the more involved I am in the operations of the store, the less capacity I have for teaching. I have taught 45+ people how to open zero waste stores through my digital course, thousands of people have liked and commented on my sustainability focused social media posts over the years (and let’s be honest, if you’re an OG Scoop fan, you know I poured my heart into those posts back in the day! They were pretty much journal entries…), hundreds of people have enjoyed learning from the engaging conversations that have taken place on the Green Stuff Podcast, and just last year I created some brand new low waste, plant based digital cooking and baking courses that I am really proud of!
While I may not excel at managing the actual day to day operations of a zero waste store, I love using my voice to educate, influence and inspire, and I believe that my capacity for positive impact will only increase as I eliminate tasks from my life that tend to drain my energy, and replace them with work that lights me up.
I believe that the next owner of the store is already within the Scoop community! If you or anyone you know is seriously interested in purchasing this zero waste store (brick & mortar + e-commerce), please contact me as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: "NEW OWNER"
How do you know if this is the right business opportunity for you? Well, here's what I know to be true about they next owner of Scoop Marketplace. It is someone who is:
- Passionate about teaching/facilitating/modeling low waste living to build a more sustainable future for all, and serving the incredible community that goes along with it.
- Motivated to grow the business by building a great team, investing in marketing, and expanding the inventory over time.
- Financially prepared to purchase a business (We have some options/flexibility when it comes to payment plans)
- In a position to act quickly (I will sell the store before the end of summer so we need to begin the conversation as quickly as possible)
Note: Business, marketing and/or management experience is definitely a plus, but not required. Passion and a growth mindset will take you a long way! I am a passionate baker and stay at home mom with a background in elementary education who has also been paid for odd jobs such as nanny, summer camp counselor, caterer, dance fitness instructor, tutor, au pair, cooking instructor, Christmas caroler, horse wrangler, and personal assistant.... I built Scoop with absolutely no business or retail experience whatsoever.
Whoever you are, I cannot wait to connect with you! As I mentioned, this change is going to happen quickly, so if you are seriously interested, please do reach out to me so we can talk through the details and find out if it is the right fit.
If you have ever considered opening a zero waste store, this is a great way to do it! I have already done all of the hard work of remodeling the store, getting it permitted for grocery sales, building the email list and social media following, creating the systems for the store operations and so much more! The Scoop name is well known in this community and has excellent brand recognition. This is an incredible opportunity and I cannot wait to help you through the transition to becoming the new owner of Scoop Marketplace!
Quick note: you might be guessing that this announcement is somehow related to our limited operating hours right now…. but not really. Unfortunately, it’s just been bad timing, as our two fabulous team members Devin & Alyssa both moved on to new homes and/or careers earlier this spring and we haven’t been able to replace them with full time, long term employees Claire and Hannah have done an amazing job of keeping things going, and we have been glad to have Lisz in the shop recently as well, but we still don't have enough coverage for our full schedule.
We are trying to get back up to full staffing in order to return to our 7 day a week operating schedule, but all of our recent applicants just haven’t worked out for one reason or another. We are restocking products (lots of new stuff arrived last week and there’s more on the way!) and I want you to know that it is very important to me that we minimize any possible disruption to the customer experience during this transition. I want to connect with the new owner as soon as possible so that we can work together to build a new team and increase operating hours. My team and I will be available throughout the transition for training and collaboration with the new owner.
I am very excited for this next season of life, for the store, for my family, and for myself. Good things are coming.
All my best,