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How to Start a Grocery Store in Kenya

Vincent Nyoike
Vincent Nyoike Kenyan SMEs

Groceries are among the fast-moving products in the market. Their demand is high while they are essential in every household. To start a grocery store in Kenya, you need to sell fresh and organic produce.

Many people are moving away from inorganic produce due to health-related issues. As such, many Kenyans are opting to grow organic vegetables in kitchen gardens. To succeed in the business, make sure to sell fresh produce and offer quality customer service.

Write a Grocery Store Business Plan

You need to plan for your grocery store before starting one by writing down a business plan. Among the things to include in your business plan include:

  • Startup capital
  • Source of startup capital
  • Grocery suppliers
  • Competitors
  • Business location
  • Marketing strategies

Read also: How to write a business plan.

Identify a Suitable Business Location

You need to identify a suitable business location for your grocery store. Look for a place with high human traffic like at the roadside or a marketplace. You can also set up one near a residential area if you identify an opportunity.

You need to have a good display where you can be organizing your vegetables. Also, make sure your grocery store is visible from a far distance.

Identify Reliable Suppliers

You need to be very careful when selecting suppliers for your grocery. If they sell you low quality produce, it is going to kill your business.

As such, the best way to go about it is to partner directly with farmers. Get around 5 farmers who can be supplying you with fresh produce. Get to know how these farmers grow their produce and the fertilizer they use. It would be best if you can get a farmer who uses organic fertilizers.

Working directly with farmers is cheaper since there are no brokers. Also, if there is a problem with the produce, you will know whom to blame since you know who supplied. 

Read also: How to start a mini supermarket in Kenya.

Acquire Necessary Business Permits

You need to ensure that your grocery business is licensed by the authorities. Otherwise, you will be in constant conflict with them. You need the following business licenses to operate a green grocery business in Kenya.

1. A Single Business Permit. You can get this permit from the City council. It usually costs around Ksh 5,000, but this depends on the size of your business.

2. A Food Safety Certificate. This is issued once it is certified that the food you are selling to customers is safe for consumption. Your business premises will be inspected before you are issued with this certificate.

Cost of Starting a Grocery Store in Kenya

The cost of starting a grocery store depends on the size of your business and its location. For instance, it is expensive to start one in a city like Nairobi compared to another small town like Ruiru.

But generally, to start a small grocery, you need around Ksh 50,000 while a medium grocery requires at least Ksh 100,000.

The following is the startup capital breakdown for a small grocery store:

  • Rent – Ksh 10,000
  • Stock – Ksh 40,000
  • Business permit – Ksh 5,000
  • Grocery display – Ksh 10,000

Is a Grocery Store a Profitable Business in Kenya?

A grocery is a profitable business especially if you find a business location in a busy and highly populated area. To make it in the business, you need to make sure that your grocery is clean, organized and that you sell fresh produce. In a busy area, you can be making at least Ksh 1,000 daily from your grocery store.

Read also: How to start a fresh juice parlor. 

Tips to Succeed in the Grocery Store

To succeed and grow your grocery store in Kenya, you need to ensure that you sell fresh vegetables. One of the ways to ensure that your vegetable remains fresh is by avoiding buying excess stock. Buy that one you are sure is enough for just that day.

Also, go for vegetables that are organic. People are moving away from food that is grown using inorganic fertilizers and herbicides. If you can get organic vegetables, customers will be willing to pay an extra cost.

Ensure that your grocery is always clean. Make sure to clean the vegetables before placing them on display. Customers dislike buying foodstuffs from a dirty place. Also, make sure to organize vegetables well in the counter display.

Final Word

A grocery store is one of the cheapest businesses to start in Kenya. However, there are many people who have ventured into it and your business needs to be different to succeed. Ensure that your grocery store is always clean and that your produce is fresh and organic.