- The Goods Mart is all about healthy alternatives to convenience store staples.
- The store swaps sugary icees for Kombucha slushies and generic toilet paper for Seventh Generation products.
- The company opened its first location in LA’s Silver Lake neighbourhood earlier this year.
- Their New York brick-and-mortar opened in October. I paid the shop a visit to see what a healthy version of 7-Eleven looks like.
You won’t find a Snickers Bar or a bag of Lays potato chips in one of The Goods Mart‘s stores.
Instead, you’ll find healthier alternatives that directly cater to a growing market of health-conscious consumers.
I visited the company’s New York location to see what the healthy convenience store is all about.
Here’s what it’s like.
The Goods Mart, an LA-based company, opened a New York location in the city’s SoHo neighbourhood in October.
Source: Grub Street
The company’s first location sprang up in LA’s Silver Lake neighbourhood back in April of 2018.
Source: LA Times
The New York shop shares the block with a number of upscale clothing boutiques.
There’s also a WeWork down the street, one of the co-working company’s many locations in the city.
Source: Google Maps
The store aims to provide “upgrades to typical convenience store staples.”
Source: The Goods Mart
That means healthier and more environmentally-friendly options than what could be found at your average corner store, like a 7-Eleven.
Source: The Goods Mart
The website states that its products have no artificial sweeteners, colours, flavours, or growth hormones. So think healthier versions of Starbursts and Snickers Bars.
Source: The Goods Mart
Seats fashioned out of plastic buckets sit outside the New York store — a nice touch.
This is what you see when you first walk in. It feels nothing like a 7-Eleven.
To your left is a hand sanitizing station.
And to your right are shelves stocking chips and other light, healthy snacks.
An island holding items takes up the middle of the pint-sized shop.
Next to the chip-lined shelves is a bulletin board inviting customers to pin things for everyone to see.
There’s also a tablet displaying promotional videos from brands stocked in the store, like Clif Bar and Jackson’s Honest.
You can get a frozen cheese pizza for $US9.95 or a Margherita pizza for $US11.95.
There’s a microwave right above the fridge if you want to heat up a pizza on the spot.
You can also microwave a $US5.50 burrito made by the creator of West Coast favourite, Burritos La Palma.
The coffee station is also near the microwave.
You can get an 8-ounce cup of Nitro cold brew for $US2.45 …
… or opt for a popular choice: A self-serve 8-ounce cup of regular joe, supplied by La Colombe Coffee Roasters. It costs $US1.25.
Rows of cups line the counter next to the coffee machine, just as you’d see in your average convenience store.
Next to the coffee machines is the buzzed-about slushy machines.
Reusable straws are available for purchase, if you’re really a slushy aficionado.
I was looking forward to one of the store’s Kombucha slushies, which were also available at the company’s Silver Lake store opening back in April.
Source: Fast Company
But the shopkeeper told me that their Kombucha slushies were more of a summer thing, so I went for what they had available: a Local Roots apple cider concoction. It was delicious.
I downed every bite, despite the 40-degree weather outside.
Fear not! The store wasn’t completely void of Kombucha. You can still buy a bottle of the fermented beverage if you please, sans the slushy consistency.
I turned my attention back to the white marble island, holding things like spices, olive oil …
… and organic Basmati rice.
I got excited when the shopkeeper showed me that the island was actually a Lazy Susan!
She spun it around for me to survey its contents.
There are toiletries, like this shampoo and conditioner that cost $US12.95 each.
And some Schmidt’s deodorant for $US11.95 a pop.
There are household items too, like Seventh Generation disinfectant wipes.
Fruits, veggies, and other goodies lay atop the Lazy Susan.
You can pick up an apple for 50¢.
Or pay 75¢ or $US1 for a banana or a pear, respectively.
All of the veggies and fruit are “cosmetically challenged,” provided by local companies whose deformed produce was rejected by bigger grocery stores.
Perhaps the biggest clue that this was not your average convenience store is the Gwyneth Paltrow-branded Goop product next to the deformed potatoes. I couldn’t bring myself to pay $US2.50 for “superpowder.”
I went to check out the other side of the store instead.
There are quinoa cups, gluten free oatmeal, and organic Pop-Tart alternatives.
I also spotted some ingredients to make meals, like a box of organic pasta from local shop Sfoglini for $US6.45.
There are wholegrain rice crackers, a reasonable alternative to something greasier and salty, like potato chips.
I knew I wouldn’t leave without buying a bag of these chile picante-flavored plantain chips (spoiler: they’re addicting.)
And only 140 calories a serving!
Some chocolate bars sit near the plantain chips.
As do some Chewie Fruities, which I knew could be my Starburst replacement …
… and some Justin’s peanut butter cups, priced at $US2.45, would appease my chocolate cravings.
Peanut and almond butter from the same company are priced at $US5.45 and $US14.95, respectively.
Granola bars, from brands like Clif and Kind, are stocked too.
You can buy milk, orange juice, and other drinks.
And single servings of yogurt are for sale, like Chobani for $US2.25.
While I was there, a flow of customers came and went.
Some looked like they had stumbled in for the first time, while others were clearly regulars.
The shopkeeper told me that members from the nearby women’s community, The Wing, come in often, as do employees from the WeWork on the corner.
Before I left, I rounded up a few things to try.
I went with the plantain chips, a package of Justin’s peanut butter cups, and a pack of Chewie Fruities. Everything was tasty. Maybe it was just because I knew I had shopped at a fancy, high-end convenience store, but I felt like I didn’t have a junk food coma after the fact, like I would after eating food from a conventional store.
My total came out to $US10.89 — probably more than what I would have spent on similar items at a convenience store like 7-Eleven.
I could have bought a handy dandy Goods Mart bag for $US15 to carry my healthy goodies out.
The bag’s design matches the store’s criss-crossed ceiling display, a consistent theme in The Goods Mart’s branding.
It will likely be featured in future Goods Mart locations in New York, California, and Michigan where the founder plans to expand.