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Green Leaf Convenience Is Reinventing The Traditional Convenience Store

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Adam Martel
Written by: Adam Martel, Boston based entrepreneur and co-founder of Green Leaf Convenience;

Green Leaf Convenience is a Boston-based startup dedicated to reinventing the traditional convenience store by offering our customers’ healthy food options that have simple and discernible ingredients; a fresh, clean and inviting store design; livable and fair wages for our employees; and a corporate dedication to doing as little harm to the environment as possible.

Here are some thoughts about our vision and why our startup matters:

Before we started buying our groceries at places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or farmer’s markets about five years ago, we were content shopping at the traditional grocery stores to buy packaged and perishable foods (I still don’t know what we were thinking by eating meat sold on Styrofoam trays with saran wrap). I’m not sure why we ever thought food that had a shelf life of more than six months was OK to eat. I also don’t know why I never questioned what BHT is (Butylated Hydroxytoluene is used in things like jet fuel, transformer oil and embalming fluids in addition to most of your morning breakfast cereals—yum?).

Like most people, I used to rely on convenience stores to fill the hunger gaps between meals. Whether I was at work, traveling or at home, I would frequently stop at convenience stores and get a soda, a bag of chips or a candy bar (or one of those seemingly delicious apple pies in the green paper bags). When I ate food that wasn’t healthy and sacrificed nutrition for convenience, I felt awful and it reminded me that I want to exhibit good eating habits for my daughter. Since I started living a healthier, more examined lifestyle, I’ve stopped eating overly processed foods because they don’t align with the life choices I’m making these days.

We have a corner store at the end of our block and like most corner stores and convenience stores, it was built in the mid 80s. It’s old, dirty, cluttered and full of foods that could have been there since the store opened (who knows?). My wife insists that we not purchase eggs, milk, butter or any other perishables from this store. She doesn’t trust how long those products have been there and she’s scared of us getting sick. Despite the store’s convenient location, we pass it by every day to maintain our commitment to a healthy lifestyle. And that got me thinking. Could I do this better?

After some research, I found that convenience stores in 2012 did over $290 BILLION dollars in sales (to put it in perspective, Google was happy when they did $50 billion in sales that same year). I also learned that there are approximately 151,000 convenience stores in America, less than 5% are focused on healthy foods and convenience store sales equal 1% of America’s total GDP which absolutely amazed me.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, I recognized an opportunity and knew that I could assemble a team to build a better convenience store experience. By combining healthy foods with simple and discernible ingredients, technology (iBeacon applications, a mobile payment system and efficient inventory control), wonderful store design and great employee service (which always seems to lead to fantastic customer service), we have reimagined what the traditional convenience store means to our customers.

We’re Green Leaf Convenience and we’re excited to be reinventing the traditional convenience store!

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