Green Top Grocery: Consultants were wrong!

By:  Diane Benjamin

Consultants are always wrong.  Human behavior can not be predicted, too many decisions are made under unforeseen circumstances.  People and government keep wasting money on them anyway.  The sports complex consultants will be wrong too, especially if they think people will drive from the far east side to the far west side of town.  Remember the Outlet Mall?  People on the Interstate didn’t even stop.

Green Top is claiming their consultant was wrong.  Duh.

Their first mistake was building new instead of locating in an empty store-front until the business was established.  Their second error was putting the store where they did and having no presence from Washington St.  The third error was believing people would travel off of Veterans Parkway to buy expensive food.  Do they realize the lavish spending at their location made the food even more expensive?

No consultant needed – common sense was however.  I wonder if Tari was one of the consultants since he bragged and bragged about the “investment”?

Below is part of an email sent to the “owners”.  It’s much longer than what is below, be you can get the idea:




  1. ALREADY,,,they want to change the brick, that parking in the back was wrong, the place looks sterile, and OMG they have two competitiors that they didn’t count on. It’s a plea for more money. Bottom line is that bad business plans fail especially those based on social engineering! Take a look at recent developments. Lower level retail is empty! Retail is in such turmoil it’s no wonder. The masses of the people do not and will not run to what their future is supposed to become, they will live day to day, paycheck to paycheck. Duh. Dreamers and planners can dream and plan all day. Unfortunately however, what’s real today rules the roost!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yamaha2004 says:

    Having worked as a management consultant in the past, and having employed consultants, I can tell you that consultants are always correct in their final proposal. Why? Because the first question asked by a consultant is “what do you expect out of my study?” In other words, the consultant more often than not, does exactly what the organization wants them to do. It’s a waste of money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GTG. Welcome to the free market!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cavewoman says:

    Based on everything I’ve heard, I have absolutely no reason to go to this store. Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The people who do go there (Green Top) are the same ones who go to the “tourist markets” set up outside resorts or at ports of call and think that they are not only getting killer deals but REAL AUTHENTIC stuff like the “natives” use and eat – they are dreadfully mistaken on both counts – the GTG frequent buyers – simply have far more money than sense like one of my Grandmas used to often say. I will never go there either, for multiple reasons.


  5. DAN SHICKLE says:

    My wife and I started to check out the store last summer, but noticed the membership requirement and the unattractive entrance found after searching for the store. We decided that it wasn’t worth the effort and thus we have never been in the store. However we had no problem going to Fresh Thyme after they opened. Convenience was not thought of when the location of this store was chosen.


    • GTG is a multimillion dollar investment on Constitution Trail. The president of the Board of Directors is the Co-President of Bike BloNo. He is also on the MCRPC as VP of Transportation. The neighboring store is a bike shop. The store is specifically designed for “walkability.” The Board is blaming everyone but themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    Your statement about consultants “always” being wrong is nonsense.



    Sent from my iPhone



  7. Seems to me a little common sense would have been helpful in the decision making process? Are there common sense consultants out there? It seems that most of the people involved with making the decisions about the Green Top were out-of-touch high wage elites who have no problems feeding themselves or their families…. It’s a really nice building… maybe a real private business can use it in the future?


  8. Let’s flip back a HUNDRED years to when the old west was RIPE picking for new gold, silver, etc mines AND investors! YES, Charles Schwab made a killing in mining and that’s WHERE the company got started, but for every one that made it there were a THOUSAND that had “pie in the sky” figures, numbers, prospectus, etc, and they didn’t do nothing but make holes in the ground with OTHER peoples money. SEE the book by GEORGE GRAHAM RICE- called MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUR MONEY for more info. He WAS a stock seller who got CAUGHT doing stock stock swindles and he wrote the book while he was in JAIL.. He basically TRIED to short sell the GUGGENHEIMS who he was in “business” with. GUESS who won…..
    BOTTOM LINE Green Top was DOOMED from the word GO! NO parking, wrong location, too expensive, too yuppie for THIS town, too pretensious, and basically OUT OF THEIR LEAGUE HERE! Boulder MAYBE, Bloomington-NO! and NOT even in UPTOWN! They NEED to get REAL! Price wise, customer wise, relationship wise and just plain CONSUMER wise! BAD business prospect ALL around.. Hate to say it as I liked the ideal, but they just had WAY too much “pie in the sky” view for the local crowd… Especially with the LOCATION…Ahead of their time-probably by a hundred years, but in TODAY’S market. A FLOP!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From the report: “The powerful sense of community”. What decent person would want to be a part of the Marxist, enviro-whack job, deviant, biker militant, and, no doubt, illegal loving culture and “community” that totally dominates the organization? Walked in there once….the STENCH of smug Leftism, by both customers and employees, was absolutely overwhelming. As a Conservative, I truly felt physically unsafe in such a hostile, vile, and Un-American environment. And their groceries were of poor quality and sky high priced, to boot!


  10. Follow-up to my previous post: Just as I thought! Went to the GreenTop Grocery Facebook page, and read each of the 126 reviews. Saw not one Conservative, Republican, traditionally minded name that I recognized–and would like to believe that I am, at least, somewhat networked. But boy, was there a healthy representation of the Black Lives Matter, Antifa terrorist (without their masks), Tari loving sycophants–a virtual cross section of the McLean County Hard Left. So my earlier reaction that it is a politically charged, Radical Leftist, taxpayer sucking enterprise would sure seem validated. Beware!


  11. Dan Shickle says:

    Now how could they be a group of far leftists? The writer of the report used a none politically correct address when they said “Dear fellow owners”. Or maybe it’s only wrong for Consrvatives to use that term?


  12. Always Learning says:

    I invested because I have a child with an immune system disorder that requires a very particular diet. At the time Naturally Yours, which was convenient, was closed. They never said they were planning on putting the store close to downtown. I would have never invested. I guess I was the one Conservative. A great lesson learned.


  13. No one will ever get me to stop shopping at Aldi, ever, period.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. BN Deserves Better says:

    The concept of Green Top Grocery was no good from the start. There’s not enough demand for such a service in Bloomington-Normal. Further, the grocery industry itself is a very low margin and cutthroat business. A group of elitists allowed their ideology to trump sound, logical reasoning. Consultants can and do say many things, the final call, however, is up to the recipient…in this case, Green Top. Those involved in this project heard what they wanted to hear, and are now using the consultants as the scapegoat. Diane is right, the Green Top crowd is blaming everyone, but themselves. I wish this community would wake up and shun those involved in this project instead of worshiping them. The next taxpayer fleece is likely already in the works…Downtown, I suspect. Wake up, BN!!!


  15. Donna Bishop says:

    Perhaps instead of condemning the store, you should become more educated about what a food co-op is and can offer a community. GreenTop is a food co-op which focuses on supporting local farmers & markets & it also gives back monthly to the community by supporting local organizations such as Home Sweet Home Missions & Community Health Care Clinic. Anyone can purchase there, however, if it wasn’t for the people who originally bought into the idea, the store would not be a reality today. You cannot compare it to any grocery store in town, because no one caters to the local markets, except for Common Ground downtown Bloomington. GreenTop has more than 65 local farmers & suppliers to the store & the numbers continue to grow. Kind of getting back to the concept of locally owned stores before the chains & large corporations that do not keep the money in the community nor is the food produced locally & comes from factory farms.
    It was unfortunate that evaluation made by the consultant was somewhat out of touch with what was happening in the community. But then I look at how out of touch many of the readers of Bloomington Normal New are in their understanding of what GreenTop is & what is healthy food.
    Since this evaluation, we’ve lost downtown Bloomington. This would have been an ideal spot for employees to cater for lunch. Probably the biggest mistakes that GreenTop made was not acting sooner regarding the issue of declining sales & advertising to the community. Since they’ve identified some of their problems, sales is on the rise & they have hired a new interim general manager, Tim Sullivan, who has previous experience in retail grocery & restaurant management and has expertise in turning around situations like this!
    Unfortunately most people are not well versed about what is healthy food. Purchasing local is key because food is fresher, more nutrient dense & when you purchase Certified Organic or Non-GMO sources, but there are local farmers who are raising their animals in confinement & feeding them GMOs that sell to GreenTop & that’s why you’ve got to be knowledgeable about the food you purchase & its source. Many people cannot make it to the Farmers Market on Saturday or don’t like coming to market, and they like having Fresh Local Produce available all week long! Also you are keeping more of your dollars into the community! After all that’s what keeps people in your community & supports the real farmers who are actually producing real food! It’s all about Community & supporting each other that makes for a strong community & economic development. WILL interviewed GreenTop & 4 of it’s farmers
    I’ve toured Fresh Thyme & it does not support local markets & while they claim their focus is on organic it’s not. I call it the “store of deceit,” While they give the impression of a farmers’ market, their produce is not local—wonder how many of the sources hire migrant or illegal workers?
    GreenTop offers an awesome deli & uses products from local farmers. Panera states they are 100% clean, but when I questioned corporate—they do not address the genetically engineered or genetically modified foods nor could they tell me if glyphosate was used in harvesting grains or sugar cane—-talk about another deceitful operation. I’m sorry, Diane, that you didn’t like the sandwich I purchased for you for your lunch at GreenTop. The ciabatta bread that you chose for a sandwich that day would not have been my choice, if I would have selected a sandwich—it’s more like a baguette from Panera. They offer multi-grain, whole wheat, and other bread options. My Mom loves their tuna & chicken salad on a multi-grain bread along with a hearty vegetable soup. For me, their salad bar is awesome!
    GreenTop is the healthiest place to eat and shop. There are studies that indicate for every dollar you spend on your health, you can save $4 on healthcare costs. People complain about the price of food, but don’t blink an eye when they spend money on fast food, alcohol, cigarettes and so much more when quality food is important, if you want to maintain optimal health and avoid developing disease. Why is America the sickest industrialized nation? Because people eat all kinds of processed food & garbage that cause cancer, strokes, and all kinds of health issues and diseases.
    Would also recommend checking out 2nd Vote to see how the places you shop are investing their money. You will find that many grocery chains are supporting causes that don’t support your values of 1st & 2nd amendment, pro-life, etc.! Lot of people buy from Amazon which supports sex trafficking. I would rather purchase something from its source or a Christian store online and pay more, but know that my dollars don’t support corruption.
    GreenTop owners are made up of people from the community—including conservatives. Unfortunately some of the owners have since moved from the area, thanks to State Farm downsizing, Mitsubishi leaving, or others who have been forced to leave IL because of rising taxes and lack of jobs.
    GreenTop has offered jobs to the community & one of the employees that I talked with the other day use to work for Mitsubishi. Yes, you will find people from all walks of life and beliefs.
    I attend Trinity Lutheran Church in Bloomington & there are other members from Trinity that shop in the store & are owners. My son, Hans, & his wife, Katie, are with PrairiErth Farms & sell their certified organic produce to GreenTop. Katie told the story that GreenTop purchased over $25,000 from them this past year and because of their increased sales, they were able to give all their employees a raise! I’m sure there are other Christians who support, shop, and are producers that supply to GreenTop. Even see Ted Cruz, Trump, & other conservative bumper stickers in the parking lot. This is not a store where only liberals & progressives shop, there are many conservatives and Christians who value quality, healthy food that is produced locally!
    I’m a registered dietitian & nutritionist who practices in integrative & functional medicine. I believe that when the body receives the right balance of nutrients, the body can heal itself—that’s by God’s Design. A holistic nutrition class I took a while back stated that Fake People eat Fake Food. From reviewing some of the comments on this post, I see a lot of accusations and slams toward GreenTop that are not true. Looking at Bloomington-Normal, I would say the Spiritual health of the community is starving! Are there many Christians who practice their faith in the marketplace anymore? Check out a study conducted by George Barna & Summit Ministries about a year ago which has some very sick results on the spiritual health of this nation.
    As for me, I will continue to support GreenTop, because I know I’m supporting local farmers & jobs, purchasing healthy food, and keeping money in the community. Plus it provides an awesome opportunity to share Jesus with everyone I meet. After all isn’t that what Life is all about? He died for me, I’ll live for Him! Everybody needs to know about Him and experience His love!!! Here’s an awesome opportunity for witnessing! God cares about community. Do you? The success of GreenTop is whether or not people really care about supporting their community, because that is what a food co-op is all about.
    Reminder that this Thursday is National Day of Prayer and to topic is on UNITY!


  16. old stanky says:

    Never been there. Is the roof top green for sustainablilty and easy identification or did the consultants screw that up to?


  17. BN Deserves Better says:

    An insider told me that most of the dues-paying members don’t even shop there and that the average purchase is under $20, which is saying something given GTG’s prices. They’re running on borrowed time. I’m told they’d be lucky to make it to the end of 2018.


  18. Donna Bishop says:

    Less than 50% of the owners were shopping @ GTG vs. over 75% of its owners in the Urbana Co-op. They were going to review the number of owners that have been lost due to State Farm, Mitsubishi, or just left IL to find better jobs. Sales has increased since the meeting. Pricing reduced & adjusted & looking to offer more promotional sales. Very impressed with the interim general manager, Tim Sullivan. He’s doing a great job turning things around & offers some strong leadership skills that we were lacking previously. The mission for a Food Co-op is to support local food & give back to the community. Only time will tell whether the community will support their endeavors.


    • Donna, Nothing is going to turn around this store. It is a flawed business model. No manager on the planet can make this grocery store profitable. It’s location alone would make it unsuitable for even discount stores. One Google search would have told anyone that grocery stores operate on a 3% profit margin. It is a highly competitive market were it is hard for even large operations to survive. It is wonderful to give back to the community but ask a mother with two teenage boys if they could afford to shop there? You obviously don’t have to feed a family on a budget or you would realize how silly it is to expect working people to shop at the Green Top. This is a store for high wage or wealthy elites. If they wont support it you can’t expect paycheck-to-paycheck people to bail them out. We are all shopping at Aldi and Walmart.


      • Donna, He’s right – though I can easily see and even appreciate your heart felt comments on Green-Top and similar enterprises – their model doesn’t work here – it might work in San Francisco or parts of L.A. or the like, but not here. Sadly, choking regulations, the killing of the “family farm” by huge conglomerates, and good old Monsanto has forced people to eat crap food for a long time now unless they have plenty of money or grow their own. I support local farmer’s markets, (not Bloomington’s though anymore) and our few local farms and my favorite day trip is to Soulard’s in St. Louis – they know how to do this “Local farmers” thing right – They have been doing it since 1779.


  19. All I needed was one line – “a path to sustainability…” – That is a death knell if I ever heard/saw one. Tick-Tock


  20. Always Learning says:

    If the store were convenient, I would shop there every week. I did shop Naturally Yours every week because they were convenient. It wasn’t the only store I went to but I did spend around $50 to $75 a week there. They put GTG within a few miles of Common Ground, which makes absolutely no sense. They have my initial investment, but I won’t be able to bail them out. I was told they were looking for a viable place to put the store when I invested. Had they mentioned they were only looking at downtown I would have saved my self hundred of dollars.


  21. Maggie says:

    I have been investigating and given this a little more thought. Because of their militant and sometimes near terroristic attitudes and behaviors (ask some residents on Washington St.), I am very concerned that any Bike BloNo officer would be in a decision making capacity at GreenTop. That said, the one thing that everybody seems to agree on is that the new manager, Tim Sullivan, is a good guy who “knows his stuff” and is trying real hard. Don’t know anything about his politics, don’t really care.

    I would love is to see Tim Sullivan post on this forum that Green Top Grocery has an ABSOLUTE commitment to being non ideological and non political. That expression of ideology–snarky comments, pontificating speeches, WILL NOT BE TOLERATED on the part of employees (and these are always Leftist) . That GT is a (theoretically) profit making business and that ALL customers are welcome, regardless of party affiliation or ideology (and the shunned and excluded are always Conservatives).

    If he well make a clear statement such as this, back it up with action, and then not get fired by the Leftists that dominate his Board, I would give them another chance. Healthy foods should not be a political issue. It is very sad, but not at all surprising, that the Looney Left of Bloomington has made it one, however.


    • “Healthy foods should not be a political issue. It is very sad, but not at all surprising, that the Looney Left of Bloomington has made it one, however.”

      Sadly, this is not uncommon, and just like everything they “meddle with” or claim some sort of ownership of, they have messed it up. I could wax on and on about all of the ways, but believe that most people here know what I am speaking of, so I will refrain from being long winded. A perfect example of “If I have to explain it, you would never understand anyway”


  22. Donna Bishop says:

    Unfortunately from reading all the posts, there appears to be a lot of confusion & misunderstanding in the discussion about what GreenTop is. It’s all about Local foods & giving back to the community—there is nothing political in what they are wanting to do. Unless you want to label “eating healthy & supporting local & the community” as a political agenda. If we are talking about genetically engineered/genetically modified foods, yes that is political because government needs to regulate and label them, since the illusional corn & soybeans that are being raised—by FDA’s standards are genetically engineered corn & beans are chemicals, not true corn & soybeans like Non-GMO and Organic fields are. Unfortunately the government has kept people in the dark about this issue and there has been a revolving door of people coming from Monsanto & other related organizations to work for FDA & USDA. (Kind of reminds me of what is happening with the FBI right now—hope Trump will be able to attack the issues of corruption with FDA & USDA, too. Already the EPA is demanding transparency in science). As a result The Truth has been hidden about the horrific damage these foods are causing to people and how glyphosate is damaging our soils & human existence, but it’s hard to educate people on this and in my attempts to educate—-there are so many people who refuse to believe The Truth or others who just don’t care about the quality of their food. Kind of understand how Jesus felt when He was on the earth. Many people followed to see what He was doing & only a few really grasped the message. In the story about the adulteress as described in John 8:7 ” They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”” Would like to see more people open to being educated on Local food, Know Your Food, Know Your Farmer & Understanding the money trail— where your money goes when you purchase your food. If most people were educated on these issues, you wouldn’t be eating the food you are eating or shopping where you shop, because the food is adulterated and you are supporting causes that go against your values!


  23. Ronald S Schultz says:

    I am a conservative. thus, not just a Republican.Also, an owner and loaner to GreenTop.
    My wife and I shop there ,sometimes daily.
    Yet, I agree with the comments about location, etc.
    And I agree that this venture is doomed in an area where people eat garbage as a daily
    Unfortunately, due to the pure crap in the local restaurants, we are forced to eat and prepare our meals at home, exclusively.
    We are all about non-GMO, no glyphosate (round-up),no herbicides, no pesticides,all natural foods.
    For us, the Green Top is reasonably priced.
    On reading some of the comments, I feel I am justified in believing real food is excellent for the masses and might reduce mental illness, and other conditions that taxpayers must finance from the ensuing illnesses associated with the standard American diet (SAD).


    • My garden is much cheaper and I can for all winter. Everybody should

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ronald S Schultz says:

        My garden is cheaper,too.
        There are several items I have difficulty growing.
        We also have 3 chest freezers for our over growth’
        You are right”everyone should do all they can to avoid the “grocery” garbage found in this area.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ronald.. and a reasonably priced car for you is______? And a reasonably priced house for you is______? For you the prices at the Green Top are reasonable? FYI – I am not and we are not the “masses”… we are your neighbors who live on LIMITED budgets in the same town you live in. In conclusion, even suggesting that the “masses” would have less mental illness if we ate the wonderful high quality food provided by the Green Top and blessing it’s goodness in your intestinal track daily is deeply offensive “elitist speak”. Stop by Aldi sometime a talk to some the mentally ill shoppers trying to feed their families on limited budgets. Maybe you can help them see the light and free them from their addiction to impure food.


  24. BrianCv4.5 says:

    Simply put, I am not going to pay $8 for a carton of eggs regardless of it supporting a “local farmer” or not. GTG is not economical for the vast majority of this town. And, the Bike BloHard “investors” did not do this business any favors with their ridiculous behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never paid more than 4 bucks a dozen for excellent eggs where I can go see the chickens running around if I want – in a real pasture, where they eat bugs and stuff. I LMAO when I see “Cage Free Vegetarian Fed” – uh if they are REALLY free range chickens they eat bugs – trust me.


  25. Crazy World says:

    This venture (Green Top) was conceived by the wealthy —> for the wealthy .. It was suppose to be a money maker from the start, oops! .. What they failed to realize is that the majority of consumers in this community
    1. aren’t members of elite local crowd
    2. don’t have deep pockets,
    3. Or have a reason to shop at TreeTop, over priced goods aren’t on my list either

    The majority of ‘local’ stock holders can afford $$ to walk away and not look back .. regardless of political beliefs, etc —> It was bad timing, lousy location, amatureish initial management, bad judgement of the common man, pipe-dream … just so a few rich ‘millieums’ in town have a ‘wanna-be’ success story, doesn’t make it so! The blame should land on the desks of the owners, not the community who won’t fill their piggy banks by shopping at their overpriced store .. sorry boys, it’s a no-go!

    Liked by 2 people

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