Rebecca’s Natural Food: Sparking Small Business and Local Community Involvement in Charlottesville


In this case study, readers will analyze the growth, evolution, and innovation of Rebecca’s Natural Food, a socially minded grocer that provides locally sourced, sustainable, and healthy products for the public. Founded in 1987 by Norman Dill, the organization’s mission was to orchestrate a movement championing the need for healthy, sustainable, anti-hormone, fresh local food. To do so, the organization took a unique social entrepreneurial approach. By engaging closely with the local community and building partnerships with a range of small businesses, the organization has been able to set itself apart as a business that meets exceptional standards. The case will investigate the team’s social motivations and shared values that contribute to the organization’s goals and vision. Further, the case will discuss the various strategic decisions and dilemmas the organization faces as they seek to maximize their impact in the years ahead. Finally, the case will offer some of the lessons learned and potential new directions Rebecca’s Natural Food has proposed to take.

This case was prepared for inclusion in Sage Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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