Stock Culinary Goods

Designing strategy for a growing small business impacted by COVID as part of DESIGNxRI Resiliency Challenge

The Ask

Stock Culinary Goods, established in 2012, is a small business where people who love to cook and entertain can gather to find the materials to outfit their kitchens, decorate their tables, or simply chat with other like-minded food enthusiasts. It was built to be a social experience, with very few resources put into e-commerce.

With COVID-19, how do we pivot towards reimagining the experience of shopping at Stock in an online world?


Fall  2020
6 weeks

Project Team

Melinda Rainsberger
Alexis Moniello
Bi Oke
Ashesh Gohil
Alissa Marr

My Role

User Research
Experience Design
Retail Design
Strategy Design

Getting Started

The team spoke with the owner of Stock, as well as many customers to discover the key areas to address through this challenge. With their input, we were able to identify the opportunities and needs of the business, like utilizing their Instagram followers to reach a broader audience as well as improve the experience of customers preferring to shop in-store.

At A Glance

As we look at managing our expenses better, how might we enable users to ensure that their expenses are settled in the least amount of time?

Understanding the user

After analyzing the shopping experiences, we mapped how customers would feel in their experience of visiting the store, through Instagram, or in-person.
We noticed that most customers fell in three categories-

Middle-aged home chefs

  • Find specific and unusual items in Stock
  • Prefers to support local businesses
  • Uncomfortable shopping in-store but fine with curbside pickups

Instagram-savvy foodies

  • 25-35-year-olds that love pop-up shops
  • Find places through Instagram or word-of-mouth
  • Supports local businesses by sharing on social media

Culinary Grad Students

  • Stock is hidden from students
  • Love the knives section
  • Enjoy collaborating on recipe contests

Solutions Strategy

Stock was successfully engaging their clientele with Providence's vibrant food network. It was not designed to be online and relied solely on being discovered organically. Based on these findings, we provided short and long-term frameworks to help them adapt.

In-store space

The retail space layout is not designed to guide shoppers effectively during the pandemic


Stock's central strength is the community it serves & retains

Local food culture & offerings

Stock contributes strongly to the food-chain network in Providence

Proposed Framework

Immediate solutions

Solutions that can be individually implemented in 1-2 months with little financial investment

Long-term solutions

Solutions that can be implemented in over 3 months with a significant financial investment

Concepts & Prototypes

We wanted to provide Stock with as many feasible solutions as possible to allow them the choice to decide which ones to implement. We focused on the four key opportunities-
  • Entry Points: Provide entry points that would lead to a sale or customer engagement.
  • Collaboration Kits: Collaborate with local chefs to create product kits to increase engagement with the local community
  • Social Media: Promote the kits on Instagram business account to incentivize online product sales
  • Store Improvements: Improve store layout and create wayfinding methods to improve the in-store experience

Next Steps

Based on the solutions provided above, we suggested a timeline for implementation. This would allow Stock to choose which solutions to implement or discard.

© Ashesh Gohil, 2023