On September 29th, Keystone Development Center (the consulting group we are working with) led two focus groups as part of their feasibility study for the Ambler Food Co-op. Both focus groups were held at First Presbyterian Church in Ambler, so first off, we’d like to thank them for allowing us to use their space. The first focus group consisted of non-committee members and ran from 11-12:30. The second focus group consisted of committee members and ran from 12:30-2:00. As a committee member, I attended the second focus group.
Oh, and did I mention Ambler Pizza donated pizza for both focus groups? Thank you, Ambler Pizza! It was delicious!
I have never been part of a focus group and did not know what to expect. At the focus study I attended, 7 committee members sat around a large table and were asked to answer questions about our household and grocery shopping habits. The discussion that was recorded for later use by the consulting company. It was a very interactive session where different points were discussed amongst the group (rather than being just a simple question and answer session). If you are wondering what goes on at a focus group, here are some of the questions we were asked:
- Describe your household . . .what type of home do you have, name the nearest cross-street, how many people in your home, if kids, what are their ages?
- How long have you lived in Ambler and do you plan to stay?
- List the stores where you do your grocery shopping currently, and how much do you spend weekly? How much of your weekly spending is on non-food items?
- If there was a co-op, how would that change your shopping habits? Would the co-op replace your main Grocery Store?
- How important is parking to you? Is it a deal breaker?
- Are you willing to pay the Membership Fee?
- Why are you involved in the Co-op?
At 2:00, it seemed like all of the questions had been adequately answered and we called it a day. Keystone Development Center is reviewing the results of the focus groups along with the data gathered from the 300+ surveys completed by community members. KDC will deliver the results of the feasibility study sometime in the near future. We are all looking forward to seeing the results of the feasibility study and would love to share this information with you when it comes available