Sitting Down with Rachel Krupa, Founder of The Goods Mart
What if convenience stores were not only convenient but also good for you? What if, instead of Slurpees and taquitos, you could choose snacks and drinks that are better for your health, carefully selected, and don’t break the bank? Welcome to The Goods Mart.
Founded in 2018 by public relations consultant Rachel Krupa, The Goods Mart is a healthy spin on a gas station mini-mart. Described as a “better-for-you, socially conscious neighborhood convenience store,” The Goods Mart focuses on remaking the model of the traditional convenience store and turning it into something that better serves the individual consumer and the community.
“I absolutely love, love convenience stores and gas stations,” says Krupa. “I’m from Michigan, and our local Sunoco gas station was the hub of the community to me.” After launching a PR agency focused on mission-driven food and wellness brands, Krupa began to formulate an idea. Eventually, The Goods Mart was born.
One of the hallmarks of her stores is the careful curation. Each item is handpicked by Krupa based on a series of factors. “As a baseline, all the products need to be non-GMO [and] contain no artificial flavors or colors,” Krupa explains. “Then it’s all about taste, the story of the brand, the founder, and how we resonate with our customers.” There are other considerations as well, such as packaging and price point. In fact, no item at any of Krupa’s stores will cost more than $25.
This is rare for a brand focused on healthful consumption. When people hear words like “socially conscious” or “no artificial flavors,” they usually assume high or prohibitive price tags are attached. Krupa wants to change this. “Better-for-you products tend to be slightly more expensive because of the quality of the ingredients used, but we’re talking cents not dollars,” she says. “Products in our store start at $0.49! You can get a great cup of La Colombe coffee for $1.25, a bag of plantain chips for $2.25, or a Michelin-starred burrito for $5.75!”
Beyond in-store shopping, Krupa also offers snack boxes that can be ordered from anywhere. They’re available in individual quantities or via a monthly subscription. Each box has a specific theme, which Krupa chooses and implements. At the moment, the offerings include “Founded,” a snack box that highlights brands from BIPOC, AAPI, and Latinx female founders, “Rising Stars,” which features up-and-coming brands, as well as “Anything Goes,” a “best-of-the-best” box that can be tailored to gluten-free, paleo, or vegan diets.
The idea for the boxes first arose during the pandemic, when Krupa was forced to rethink an in-store model that was quickly falling out of favor. “Our customers could not make it into the store, and they asked if we could send them their favorite snacks or ‘surprise them’ with what was new in the store,” she explains.
Shortly after launching the initiative, Krupa took Aurora James’ Fifteen Percent Pledge, a pledge by business owners to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned brands. Additional opportunities to give back have come in various forms. Krupa has donated over $20,000 worth of foodstuffs to healthcare workers in New York City, created the Black Founded Snack Box to support Black founders, and partnered with Opal Tometi — co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement – to curate a snack collection, proceeds of which went to Diaspora Rising. “Our goal is to elevate and highlight the incredible makers who are looking to change our food system,” Krupa says.
Since opening her first store in Los Angeles nearly four years ago, Krupa has expanded her footprint. The Goods Mart now has two storefronts in Manhattan: one in SoHo and another in a historic newsstand space at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, an exciting new development for the company.
“30 Rockefeller is iconic,” says Krupa. “We’re excited to create a community around snacks that happen to be better-for-you!” Beyond bringing a small and community-focused business to a commercial hub, Krupa has big plans for the Rockefeller Center location. “In 2022, look for a lot of sampling… We want everyone to try the latest and greatest brands that fill our shelves,” she says. “We’re also expanding our subscription snack boxes and hopefully opening other stores, but for now, we’re focused on our Rockefeller Center community and how we can be more of service.”
The Goods Mart is open in the lobby of 30 Rockefeller Plaza Monday through Friday, 7am to 6pm.