Good Foods Grocery to be sold to local nonprofit

goodfoods

Good Foods Grocery is planned to be sold to Commonwealth Autism on Monday. (BizSense file)

A local specialty grocer that’s been in business nearly 40 years is changing hands.

Good Foods Grocery owner Donnie Caffery said Sunday that he plans to sell his South Richmond grocery store to Commonwealth Autism, a local nonprofit, in a deal expected to close this morning.

Commonwealth Autism intends to continue to operate the grocery store and utilize the business as a venue for vocational training for those with autism.

Caffery said he teed up a sale of the store to retire and that in the course of an eight-month search for a buyer, Commonwealth Autism’s pitch rose to the top. He said the nonprofit’s vision for Good Foods gelled with his own philosophy and helped seal the deal.

5f400f2668887.image

Donnie Caffery

“We entertained a wide variety of people and companies local and national, and late in the game I just got an email from (CEO) Tyler Hart at Commonwealth Autism about who he was and that he was interested in a purchase of Good Foods Grocery to further their mission,” Caffery said. “Being our mission is about helping people on their wellness journey, here we are helping people in the autism world.”

Hart, in a prepared statement issued Sunday, said “We plan to use Good Foods Grocery as a platform to launch a workforce training program.

“We aim to strengthen the strong community and customer service that are hallmarks of Good Foods, offering internships that could lead to permanent employment in the Richmond community for autistic adults,” he said.

Commonwealth Autism, which offers programming for children and adults with autism, is based at 4108 E. Parham Road and was founded more than 25 years ago.

Good Foods has 43 employees, and Caffery said the entire team is expected to stay on with the change in ownership. Caffery also plans to stay on for a year to teach the nonprofit how to run the store.

Beyond that, Caffery, 68, said he didn’t have a firm plan for life after the grocery business, other than playing tennis and spending more time with his wife.

“Now I’m passing the torch, and we’re not sure yet (what’s next). The word ‘retirement’ isn’t in the Bible so what He will use for me next, I’m not sure,” he said.

Caffery founded Good Foods at Stony Point Village shopping center in 1985. The store leases 9,400 square feet at the center at 3062 Stony Point Road. It also previously operated a second location in Henrico County, which first opened in 1990 at Westpark Shopping Center and relocated to Gayton Crossing in 1993 before it ultimately closed in 2016.

In 2020 it expanded the footprint of its Stony Point store.

Caffery said the store is in a good position now, and that it felt like the right time to pass it along to a new operator.

“The store is just doing so well right now,” he said. “The last four years our business has really boomed with a strong upward trajectory. It’s time for someone new to step in and run it.”

goodfoods

Good Foods Grocery is planned to be sold to Commonwealth Autism on Monday. (BizSense file)

A local specialty grocer that’s been in business nearly 40 years is changing hands.

Good Foods Grocery owner Donnie Caffery said Sunday that he plans to sell his South Richmond grocery store to Commonwealth Autism, a local nonprofit, in a deal expected to close this morning.

Commonwealth Autism intends to continue to operate the grocery store and utilize the business as a venue for vocational training for those with autism.

Caffery said he teed up a sale of the store to retire and that in the course of an eight-month search for a buyer, Commonwealth Autism’s pitch rose to the top. He said the nonprofit’s vision for Good Foods gelled with his own philosophy and helped seal the deal.

5f400f2668887.image

Donnie Caffery

“We entertained a wide variety of people and companies local and national, and late in the game I just got an email from (CEO) Tyler Hart at Commonwealth Autism about who he was and that he was interested in a purchase of Good Foods Grocery to further their mission,” Caffery said. “Being our mission is about helping people on their wellness journey, here we are helping people in the autism world.”

Hart, in a prepared statement issued Sunday, said “We plan to use Good Foods Grocery as a platform to launch a workforce training program.

“We aim to strengthen the strong community and customer service that are hallmarks of Good Foods, offering internships that could lead to permanent employment in the Richmond community for autistic adults,” he said.

Commonwealth Autism, which offers programming for children and adults with autism, is based at 4108 E. Parham Road and was founded more than 25 years ago.

Good Foods has 43 employees, and Caffery said the entire team is expected to stay on with the change in ownership. Caffery also plans to stay on for a year to teach the nonprofit how to run the store.

Beyond that, Caffery, 68, said he didn’t have a firm plan for life after the grocery business, other than playing tennis and spending more time with his wife.

“Now I’m passing the torch, and we’re not sure yet (what’s next). The word ‘retirement’ isn’t in the Bible so what He will use for me next, I’m not sure,” he said.

Caffery founded Good Foods at Stony Point Village shopping center in 1985. The store leases 9,400 square feet at the center at 3062 Stony Point Road. It also previously operated a second location in Henrico County, which first opened in 1990 at Westpark Shopping Center and relocated to Gayton Crossing in 1993 before it ultimately closed in 2016.

In 2020 it expanded the footprint of its Stony Point store.

Caffery said the store is in a good position now, and that it felt like the right time to pass it along to a new operator.

“The store is just doing so well right now,” he said. “The last four years our business has really boomed with a strong upward trajectory. It’s time for someone new to step in and run it.”

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Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
9 months ago

Non-profits are now in the grocery business? The proliferation of non-profit designations – is this virtue signaling tax evasion?
Both Publix and Kroger employ autistic and other disabled adults – but they do not wrap themselves in non-profit status??

Last edited 9 months ago by Victoria Woodhull
Terry Giles
Terry Giles
9 months ago

Yikes. Imagine being this upset about a non-profit dedicated to vocational training for people with autism.

TerrI Sammons
TerrI Sammons
9 months ago

Possibly, those employees, of other stores, were trained at this non-profit. That is one of their aims, to train good employees.

Donnie Caffery
Donnie Caffery
9 months ago

Victoria, The unemployment rate for the Autistic after high school is close to 85-90%. The purpose of this move on Commonwealth Autism’s part is to focus on closing that gap. Not by hiring autistic people to work at GFG, but to train them to work elsewhere. They are also re-locating their headquarters to behind our shopping center. They will have a 10,000 sq ft of space that will include an entire training kitchen. The idea is to train them, and then teach them how to live on their own. They will stay with them through the resume and applying for… Read more »

Dave Towberman
Dave Towberman
9 months ago
Reply to  Donnie Caffery

This is awesome news Donnie! Thank you for making a difference in the community.

Donnie Caffery
Donnie Caffery
9 months ago
Reply to  Dave Towberman

You are welcome. Without community life would be lonely, boring, and sad.

John K Austin
John K Austin
9 months ago
Reply to  Donnie Caffery

Thank you so much Donnie!

Reeves McCune
Reeves McCune
9 months ago
Reply to  Donnie Caffery

Wow! What an amazing concept! We wish you and Commonwealth Autism the very best in this exciting endeavor.

Callie Walker
Callie Walker
9 months ago

Non-profits can have the best mission in the world, but they still can’t last unless they have a dependable funding stream. I hope Good Foods stays profitable enough to be that funding stream.

Donnie Caffery
Donnie Caffery
9 months ago
Reply to  Callie Walker

That is part of the plan.

Preston Wigner
Preston Wigner
9 months ago
Reply to  Donnie Caffery

Donnie, I’m a long-time customer and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to hear this great news. The staff at Good Foods is second to none – just the nicest people you could ever meet. They will be such a good resource to work along side and teach the new interns. Thanks for putting the “Good” in Good Foods Grocery!

Martha Lee
Martha Lee
9 months ago

What an amazing next chapter this will be. God bless you and Commonwealth Autism.

Donnie Caffery
Donnie Caffery
9 months ago
Reply to  Martha Lee

Thank you Martha Lee. God Bless back at ya.

Will Weaver
Will Weaver
9 months ago

Commonwealth Autism does great work, and this is a great way to help people on the spectrum get the training they need to participate in the workforce.

Ross Cruikshank
Ross Cruikshank
9 months ago

Ya’ll need to find something else to worry about, Thanks Donnie for supporting my wife’s diet and fresh Local producers of food. We will continue to shop at good foods because we aren’t internet trolls who have to find a problem with everything.

Baylor Rice
Baylor Rice
9 months ago

Congratulations Donnie. So very happy for you my friend. Hope to run into you soon.

leslie hines
leslie hines
9 months ago

I love this idea!! Thank you for thinking outside the box. This is wonderful! Good Foods you made a Great Decision.

Leon Phoenix
Leon Phoenix
9 months ago

I discovered Good Foods after seeing a Juiceman seminar in 1992 with my then girlfriend. We were looking for a local store not too far from the Fan that sold organic carrots and apples (which were hard to find back then). 30+ years later I still love that store. Glad it’ll still be around creating good in the world. Well done, Donnie. Best wishes to you and God bless.