PLYMOUTH, Mass. — At a time when innovation is giving consumers a growing variety of products to choose from and disruption is providing more and more ways to get them, Global Partners LP is making a concerted effort to stay ahead of the pack.
Its new Alltown Fresh store concept is intended to embrace current consumer trends and draw a wide variety of demographics.
“Through the introduction of the Alltown Fresh brand, our goal is to provide our guests with healthy, fresh food choices and organic, natural, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and locally sourced alternatives,” Ryan Riggs, senior vice president of retail operations for the Waltham, Mass.-based company, told CSP. “We want to serve moms and dads on the road looking for healthy alternatives to give their children, or the tech-savvy millennial seeking healthy options that keep up with their lifestyle, and everyone in between.”
The site shown here in Plymouth, Mass., is one of two Alltown Fresh locations that opened this year. The 4,800-square-foot market sits on a 2.3-acre lot and is built on the belief that people shouldn’t need to sacrifice healthy, fresh food choices for convenience.
“The market offers local communities these options through healthier packaged options and made-to-order meals … in a rush-free environment where neighbors can hang out with one another,” Riggs said, pointing out the store’s indoor seating for a dozen.
With a full kitchen on-site, the menu of food options is a head-turner. Breakfast offerings include:
- Forage Porridge, a combination of quinoa, coconut milk, dried dates and cranberries, cashews and mint.
- Clean Green, a cage-free-egg or tofu sandwich topped with baby spinach, avocado and chia seeds.
- Green Smash, an avocado sandwich with pumpkin and chia seeds.
“We didn’t want to do the same thing everyone else is doing,” Eric Slifka, CEO of Global Partners LP, told CSP. “Customers can see someone crack an egg in front of them, cook it, take some [fresh bread], toast it and put a little bit of avocado on it.” The kitchen also offers global-inspired protein bowls and sandwiches, such as the Korean Kim Chi bowl and Veggie Palooza sandwich.
The site also offers a cafe, indoor and outdoor seating, groceries, craft beer, WiFi, pet relief areas, traditional snack options and phone charging stations. Outside, the forecourt has 12 regular fueling spots, three high-speed diesel fueling stations for 18-wheel trucks and four Electrify America direct-current fast chargers (DCFCs)—two 150kW and two 350kW chargers—to service customers with electric vehicles.
Efforts to offer locally sourced products have led to some interesting finds. For example, Smith’s Country Cheese from nearby Winchendon, Mass., offers hand-cut cheese made with raw milk free of antibiotics and hormones. Al’s Backwoods Berrie Co., based in Plymouth, provides jams, jellies, marmalades, honey and maple syrups made with fresh fruit from local farms. And guests can also find zesty pickles from Stretch’s Pickles, in Westminster, Mass., and artisan multigrain and wheat bread from Hearth Artisan Bread in Plymouth.
“The Alltown Fresh market incorporates many amenities found in boutique grocery stores and coffee shops,” Riggs said. “The market supports local businesses through sourcing local goods when possible and has an entire section of the market dedicated to local purveyors, which we plan to rotate quarterly, at a minimum, to offer different businesses the opportunity to sell products.”
“Alltown Fresh incorporates many amenities found in boutique grocery stores and coffee shops.”
In designing the new concept, Global Partners concentrated on keeping the store modern but simple.
“It had to be modest in design while still achieving all of the goals for elevated amenities and offerings,” Riggs said. “For example, the team debated whether to go with TV monitors to display the offerings but chose handwritten menu boards for a more local, handmade feel.”
Global Partners is working on a multiyear program to roll out additional Alltown Fresh sites this year and beyond. Riggs says the company expects to open at least five additional sites this year and is looking at a variety of options to convert more of Global Partners 74 Alltown c-stores that align with Alltown Fresh’s targeted demographic to the new brand.
Size: 4,800 square feet
Address: 22 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, Mass.
Fueling spots: 12 gasoline spots, three high-speed diesel positions, four Electrify America direct-current fast chargers Opened: January 2019
- First Alltown Fresh-branded site
- Organic and vegan food offer
- Exotic menu items
- Local products