Sometimes you just want to run into a place where you can grab a cup of coffee, a roll of toilet paper, and maybe a snack, and then get back on the road—but, until now, that often meant settling for whatever the local mini-mart had on hand, typically pre-packaged junk foods, weird hot items that were probably injected with all kinds of questionable preservatives, or hours-old coffee of decidedly suspicious provenance. The Goods Mart wants to change all that, and make grab-and-go actually good.
Everything you would expect from a corner store is represented at the Goods Mart, but in a version that is healthier, more local, or more eco-friendly. Owner Rachel Krupa grew up in rural Michigan, where the local market was a place for community building, but eventually moved to Los Angeles to launch a career doing public relations for brands that focus on wellness and sustainability. It was always a dream for her to see companies with that type of ethos represented in a brick-and-mortar neighborhood shop.
“From snacks to butter, and toilet paper to shampoo, every item we stock has been hand-curated for amazing taste or function and ethical, eco-responsible practices,” Krupa says.
In deciding what to stock, she laid out some pretty rigorous guidelines. Among them, she decided the store will have no products with artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, and there will never be a single-use plastic bottle on her shelves. If you want a slushie, you’ll be getting an all-organic frozen fruit drink from Kelvin Slush Co. served in a paper cup. Your quick cup of coffee comes from La Colombe (but will still set you back only a very old-school price of $1.25). The organic produce for sale will be items that would otherwise be headed into the waste stream as “cosmetically damaged.” Prepared food items will be available from local makers including Sunny Blue rice balls, Banh Oui sandwiches, and Bakers Kneaded pastries.
Krupa also hopes the shop will give back to the community. Registers will allow customers to make micro-donations to local charities when they complete a purchase and food that doesn’t sell will be safely donated to homeless Angelenos through the Lunch on Me program. Even the space itself features a small community garden, designed by landscape architects Terremoto.
It’s all part of the store’s vision to bring a healthy, human element back into our ever more screen-based lives.
“With so many of our everyday experiences going high tech, and no matter how ‘convenient’ we want things, we’re all instinctually yearning for community,” Krupa says.
Ed. note: Los Angeles magazine sometimes works with Krupa’s PR firm on stories unrelated to the Goods Mart.
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