The Gas Station Of The Future Has An Eco-Friendly Wellness Twist
Let's be real: Gas stations and convenience stores are typically where wellness goes to die. They're places where most of us end up either splurging on a bag of chips or candy bar or solemnly clutching a sad trail mix or battered banana.
The Goods Mart, a new outpost in Silver Lake, California, is an almost unrecognizable reimagination of a convenience store—stocked with low-sugar snacks free of artificial colors and flavors and humanely raised animal products.
"It's like Whole Foods and 7-Eleven had a baby," publicist and brains behind the operation Rachel Krupa tells Fast Company.
Her mart—designed to appeal to the local wellness scene and out-of-towners dropping by for a coffee or snack—carries healthier versions of road-trip staples like cheese puffs and chocolate bars, all of which have been approved by an on-site registered dietitian. Instead of fizzy neon energy drinks, you'll find vitamin-rich yerba mate, and kombucha slushies flow out of the Slurpee machines.
In keeping with its name, the market also attempts to do good by carrying products that are sustainably packaged (no single-use plastic water bottles here) and offering "ugly" fruits and veggies that would have otherwise been thrown away. There's also an option to give to charity as you're checking out.
Krupa hopes that her store will become more than just a snacker's paradise. Outside, an outdoor area with picnic tables and lush greenery serves as a place for people to sit, eat, and gather outside of their cars.
"We forget that we need a place where we can go and grab things quickly but then also make it a place that you can see your neighbors and talk to people," she tells Fast Company. "That’s the bigger picture here—building a community space, having a good interaction."
While Silver Lake already has its fair share of healthy options (the market is within walking distance of mbg favorites such as Moon Juice and By Chloe), Krupa has plans to expand to areas that don't typically have access to this type of food. The first mart offers typically pricier goods like La Colombe drip coffee for a more reasonable rate ($1.25 for an 8-ounce cup), and bringing these deals to food deserts could certainly help the journey to make wellness more accessible.
Wondering how to navigate your local convenience store healthily? Check out one functional medicine doc's top tips.