The Goods Mart May Be Mini, But Its Mission Is Mighty
SILVER LAKE, Calif. — Supermarkets like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s have become synonymous options for health-conscious consumers who prefer shopping for everyday essentials in a neighborhood-inspired setting. But what about consumers of the same caliber in the convenience channel?
Enter The Goods Mart, a new kind of convenience store that is dedicated to bringing better-for-you options to the neighborhood, while building an authentic community and inspiring good.
The Goods Mart is the brainchild of Rachel Krupa, who drew her inspiration for the mini-mart concept from growing up in rural Michigan, where she and her family treated the local Sunoco gas station and convenience store not only as a one-stop shop for picking up home staples like milk, eggs and toilet paper, but also as a social catchup spot.
Combining childhood nostalgia and her love of c-stores with a desire to do good by providing more than the "choose-the-lesser-of-two-evils" options, Krupa opened the doors to The Goods Mart in Silver Lake.
"I’m shaking up the archaic 7-Eleven model with a fresh, socially-conscious rethink of the convenience store. … With looks between shocked and puzzled, my friends asked me why I would create a brick-and-mortar. My answer was simple: I want to do good," explained Krupa, who is also founder of Krupa Consulting, a boutique food and wellness public relations firm.
Knowing that better food and products come with a higher price tag, Krupa’s mission is for The Goods Mart to be accessible to everybody. More than 300 great-tasting, mission-driven products have been curated that fit into a range of budgets, fit the better-for-you bill, and are better for the environment.
Products must check off a list of core standards before being shelved: free from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, growth hormones and pesticides; made from humanely-raised animal proteins that are nitrate-, antibiotic- and GMO-free; and comes in BPA-free packaging.
In fact, single-serve plastic bottles are prohibited on the shelves, according to Krupa.
The product mix available at The Goods Mart includes:
- Upcycled "ugly" organic fruits and vegetables;
- Freshly baked, gluten-free goods from Sweet Laurel;
- Organic slushies from Kelvin Slush Co. that are served in paper cups;
- Prepackaged sandwiches, burritos and salads prepared by local chefs;
- An array of snacks that extends into salty, sweet and alternative, such as chips, crackers, cookies, jerky and candy; and
- C-store staples, like milk, eggs, toilet paper and paper towels.
The single-store operator is also focused on providing her customers with transparency. In-store, an iPad is mounted on the wall and plays videos from the brands The Goods Mart carries to give guests the opportunity to learn more about the products they’re buying and consuming.
Adhering to the "good" part of The Goods Mart, Krupa’s philosophy is simple: If given an option to do good, people will. And she’s giving her customers that option.
"Using Square at checkout, we’re using the tip function as a way for customers to give to local charities that will rotate each quarter," she pointed out. "We’ve also partnered with Lunch on Me, which will move food within 24 hours of expiration from shelves to the hands of those who are homeless."
Next up: She is looking to expand The Goods Mart concept.
"From its conception, The Goods Mart has been a life-changing, immersive learning experience for me, and the Silver Lake. We’re going to open more locations, look to launch new brands, and build community in all of the neighborhoods where we open doors," she said.
Download our full report, "Naturally Good," by clicking below.