MONEY groceries

Former Trader Joe’s Exec Opens Super Cheap Nonprofit Supermarket

Doug Rauch has brought The Daily Table a non-profit grocery store to Dorchester. The store will offer produce, nutritious pre-made meals, and other groceries.
Jonathan Wiggs—Boston Globe via Getty Images Former Trader Joe's president Doug Rauch is the founder of Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store in Dorchester, Mass.

Tons of items are under $1.

On Thursday, June 4, a new not-for-profit grocery store called the Daily Table opened in Dorchester, Mass. The new store is notable for two main reasons: 1) It’s the baby of Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe’s, which was recently named among America’s favorite supermarkets; and 2) The prices of many items are incredibly affordable.

Here is a sampling of expected prices at Daily Table, according to the trade publication Supermarket News:

8-ounce frozen okra: 29¢
8-ounce frozen corn: 39¢
Can of tuna: 55¢
Box of cereal: 70¢
Dozen eggs: $1.19

In a story last month in the Boston Globe, Rauch explained what his new venture is all about, and why the focus has been on inexpensive, healthy food rather than profits. “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.”

The goal is not only to offer affordable groceries in poor communities like Dorchester, but also to sell healthy ready-to-cook meals and hot grab-and-go items at prices that compete with “cheap” fast food. Entrees will be priced starting at $1.79, while side dishes range from 50¢ to $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.”

Though the Daily Table concept has just been launched, Rauch hopes to open more stores in the Boston area, plus locations in cities such as Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

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