Q&A With Choice Market Founder Mike Fogarty

Q&A With Choice Market Founder Mike Fogarty

Q&A With Choice Market Founder Mike Fogarty 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman
Updated 2/18/21

Now with three locations in the Denver area, Choice Market is smashing through norms with a c-store format that melds healthy living and convenience. We’re excited to have partnered with Choice for the innovative concept design and sat down with Choice Market Founder/CEO, Mike Fogarty to talk about the whys and hows behind the budding, purpose-driven brand.

Why was it important to you to build a business with a mission to support the local community and how did customer convenience and healthy options contribute?

“From day one our mission was to make good food accessible and convenient by sourcing high-quality ingredients and groceries from great local purveyors. So much of our food supply chain is dominated by a few large companies so we felt it was important to shorten the supply chain and celebrate our great Colorado producers.”

How have partnerships played a role in the development of the Choice Market Brand? From farmers to brands, local communities, and even customers themselves?

“Partnerships are everything.  We work with over 80+ local producers, technology partners, capital partners, and a myriad of other general service providers who are absolutely essential to making the wheels turn.  We do our best to align ourselves with companies that understand our vision, align to our values, and ultimately want to grow with us!”

What was the inspiration to bring a full kitchen into the convenience concept and how does it support your brand mission?

“It’s all about convenience. With Choice, customers now have the ability to get a fresh meal as well as great local groceries in one simple transaction. Furthermore, with revenue from fuel, cigarettes, and tobacco continuing to decline in the c-store channel, food and food service continues to grow but legacy c-store brands are not well positioned to execute a menu that our core customer desires.”

Technology plays a big role within the Choice Market space. Was a frictionless experience always the goal and how has it been received by customers?

“Yes, we have an omnichannel strategy which includes utilizing technology to improve the customer experience. We currently offer customers the ability to order ahead online, at self-service kiosks, and via delivery apps. We are developing a friction-less technology suite which we feel will reduce transaction times and ultimately lead to increased customer visits and larger basket sizes.  Furthermore, we are evaluating technologies that can help reduce our carbon footprint and non-value-added processes.”

With new formats opening (which everyone at CG is excited about), how do you envision Choice Market evolving moving forward?

“We have big plans for Choice because we feel there is a big need to increase access of healthy and sustainable food.  Schools, offices, hospitals, airports, and communities around the country suffer from lack of access which leads to poor eating habits and ultimately poor health.  We feel that our small format market can help address this issue while also progressing an industry that is in need of innovation.  With the impending transition to electric and autonomous vehicles, the c-store as we know it will need to undergo a massive transformation and we hope to be a leader in that transformation.”

Are there brands that you admire, in and out of category?

“One of the brands I admire the most is Patagonia. They produce amazing products and have great leadership but more importantly, they are committed to ensuring all stakeholders, including society and the environment, are fully represented. Now more than ever it’s up to private enterprise to drive innovation and we hope to mirror Patagonia’s efforts as a holistic corporate citizen.”

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