Portland’s 1st Hipster-themed C-store
If it looks good, it feels better,” explains co-owner Jonathan Felix-Lund to Munchies. “The lighting in most convenience stores is really harsh; people get in and get out, and customers deserve a place that feels clean. Most convenience stores are gross.”
Felix-Lund and Matt Brown came up with the idea four years ago while traveling together, and stopping at gas stations housed in iffy spaces that offered stale food and beverage selections both depressed and inspired them. The pair vowed to create a convenience store that was not only an enjoyable experience, but also an experience unto itself.
At Mini Mini, you can purchase imported black water, which really is black, as well as local staples such as Salt & Straw ice cream and Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches. There will be Lion Heart kombucha, Stumptown cold brew, and Double Mountain beer on tap. The pizza chain Sizzle Pie, which is an investor, sells a new line of vegan (and non-vegan) “hot pockets” at the store.
Surprisingly, the owners say that ”a lot of our pricing is lower than convenience stores like 7-11 or Plaid Pantry. People think Mini Mini’s going to be expensive because it’s nice, but we will fill up your growler for $7 with local cider and beer. Nothing in this store is over 20 bucks."
Their plans are to expand, but for now just within Portland, where they hope to tailor each store to meet the needs of each individual neighborhood.
One quote from the owners may be telling, or may just be giving them a false sense of security: "When was the last time you went to a convenience store when you weren’t drunk?"
Not a good basis for a successful business plan.