I was inside Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia’s beloved, 70-year-old artisan cheese shop and gourmet delicatessen, when something very apparent sunk in for me.
They’ll sell me a block of Manchego sheep’s milk cheese for $5, or bratwurst or beef from the region for a few dollars a pound. It’s profitable and prominent.
But I’d bet Di Bruno Bros. makes a lot more money per minute of staff effort on its catering business than any retail experience it could create. Rather than having one person buying one block of cheese, any successful retail operation wants to use its economies of scale to up production and get more revenue for its effort by servicing tens or hundreds of people at the same time.
If you have a news site, then what is the back-end service that is really going to make the money needed to fund journalism?
Earlier this summer, I did some reporting for sustainability publication Grid magazine about Dansko, a suburban-Philadelphia durable footwear company that specializes in clogs. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish the story for some personal reasons.
Still, you should see the final product by Natalie Hope McDonald on Page 10 here, and check out the whole mag, which is an interesting niche news startup in Philadelphia.
Below read some of the content that I didn’t get the chance to use.
The sustainable renovation of the Globe Dye Works, a former manufacturing complex in the Frankford neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia, is the focus of a story I have in Grid magazine this month.
For five generations and 140 years, the Globe Dye Works dyed and wound yarn, and employed hundreds at its peak. In 2005, unable to continue fighting the globalization and outsourcing that moved other businesses, Globe closed, ending another vestige of Philadelphia’s past as the Workshop of the World. Its 11 buildings and 165,000 square feet, located off Torresdale Avenue in the Frankford area of Northeast Philadelphia, were shuttered and left vacant. Read more here [PDF].