In three months’ time, Goodwill Industries has opened three stores, in Placerville, South Lake Tahoe and on Sacramento’s Alta Arden Expressway, but regional CEO Joseph Mendez told me that the store debuts aren’t over yet.
Goodwill soon will open its first store in Elk Grove and a second in Sparks, Nev. When Mendez and his team launched the 23,000-square-foot Sacramento store, at 2040 Alta Arden Expressway, about a month ago, they closed a 12,500-square-foot site on Fulton Avenue and now will convert their 20,000-square-foot Arden store into a furniture-only outlet.
The big expansion results from Goodwill finding spaces that fit into its board’s vision for growth, Mendez said.
“We’ve had these stores on the books as communities we’ve wanted to enter for the last several years, and the opportunities presented themselves,” he said. “The board decided to move forward to take advantage of the market. They just all fell together at the same time. It’s intentional, though. They were targeted communities where we could offer new service or consolidate.”
In Placerville, for instance, Goodwill has worked for years with the El Dorado Food Bank to offer services, but it wanted a physical presence in the county where it could provide on-the-job training. It opened Thursday at 3868 Forni Road.
“We’re working with the Health and Human Services Department to place unemployed and underemployed individuals into jobs, both in retail and also with our career path programs in custodial and security fields,” he said. “We’re exploring the expansion of out-of-school youth programs, and we’re also working with the indigenous tribe up there.”
Mendez estimated that the new stores will increase overall revenue by 16 percent. The nonprofit Goodwill Industries of the Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada expects revenue to hit $75 million this year. Roughly 93 percent of those funds go toward offering mission-related services and care to unemployed, homeless, hungry and disabled people in the region. …
Cooking up a startup: Siblings Greg and Liz Connolly, reared in Granite Bay, have spent time apart building startup businesses, but a little more than a year ago they decided to team up on Trifecta Nutrition.
The Connollys deliver cooked, 100 percent organic meals to their customers’ doorsteps. They launched in August 2015, and without any advertising, shipped 2,360 meals. By May of this year, their company was delivering 310,000 meals per month.
“The idea behind the company is to completely reimagine how people eat,” Greg said. “All of us … struggle with eating healthy every day.”
He and Liz recently moved their fast-growing business’ headquarters to Davis and have also opened offices in West Sacramento for marketing, customer service and sales employees.
Partnerships with existing businesses have allowed Trifecta Nutrition to expand quickly, Greg explained. The company has gotten referrals from Paleo Diet, PaleoHacks, Vegetarian Resource Group, Six Pack Meals and celebrity athletes.
“We have all these people who are already talking to everybody about what they should be eating and how they should be exercising,” Greg said. “Rather than us trying to reinvent the wheel, they refer those people to us, and we use sophisticated software to track who they’ve sent us, and we pay them a small fee when those people actually buy meal plans from us.”
The biggest challenge for Americans, Greg said, is that they don’t have enough time to cook three meals a day. Americans work 137 more hours per year than the Japanese, 260 hours more than the Brits and 499 more hours than the French, he said.
“We are still to this day one of the most productive people on the planet,” he said. “We still have a higher per-capita productivity than China.”