It says something about the uniqueness of Mendez Fuel’s offer that another retailer first wanted to franchise it, then buy its proprietary cold-pressed juices, then partner with it. Owner Michael Mendez declined those first three offers but said yes to buying that other retailer’s store. The location, which opened in January in Westchester, Fla., will be Mendez Fuel’s first site without fuel. But no worries—it has plenty more to keep customers coming.
This includes an expanded version of Mendez Fuel’s famous foodservice offer, which includes empanadas, breakfast burritos and chia bowls. And new to the menu: vegan options, which will soon include vegan pastries made in the Westchester store’s large kitchen. It also features Mendez Fuel’s famous selection of craft beer, plus stations to fill up growlers and crowlers (large, 32-ounce beer cans).
Eight years since its founding, Mendez Fuel has found its calling in healthful foods, despite the fact that Mendez and his brother and co-founder, Andrew, are not necessarily the most crunchy guys around. That said, they know a good trend when they see one.
One trend that has paid off: probiotic coconut-milk yogurt. “The first couple of runs, we tossed an incredible amount of money,” Mendez admits. But the retailer was patient, and today, he receives calls from consumers wanting to know if it is in stock.
“We’re a gas station,” Mendez says, “but we’re trying our hardest to flip the switch and people’s perceptions of the gas station.”
Vegan pastries, empanadas and growlers help Mendez Fuels "flip the switch" on consumer perceptions of c-stores.
Photo courtesy of Mendez Fuel