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Jul 27, 2021

It’s a fair guess that few can recall the last time -- if ever -- that they were excited about visiting a convenience store. That may soon change as Foxtrot Market, a fast-growing chain of hybrid upscale corner stores and cafés -- and one of the most hyped retailers in recent memory -- prepares to open dozens of new locations across the U.S.

Founded in 2013, Foxtrot’s mission is “redefining convenience for the modern consumer” by aligning the retailer’s brick-and-mortar locations with a mobile app that makes its entire inventory available for delivery in less than 60 minutes. The company currently operates nine locations in Chicago along with two each in Dallas and Washington D.C, and boasts a loyal following drawn to its curated product selection -- 40% of which is sourced from small and local businesses -- along with the stores’ neighborhood-centric design and aesthetic.

In February, Foxtrot announced a $42 Million Series B investment round led by Almanac Insights and Monogram Capital Partners, and included food and hospitality luminaries Momofuku founder David Chang, Sweetgreen co-founder Nicolas Jammet and Whole Foods co-founder Walter Robb. The funding will fuel the launch of 50 new stores, in cities including New York, Austin, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston and Houston.

On the heels of the announcement, Foxtrot co-founder and CEO Mike LaVitola joined us for an expansive interview featured in this episode that delved into the origins of the company, how it cultivates an intimate understanding of its consumers and why he believes Foxtrot’s online and retail customers are the same people. He also discussed what Foxtrot looks for when adding new brands to its shelves, the evolution of its private label business and why the company is simultaneously going head-to-head with the likes of Starbucks, 7-Eleven and DoorDash.


Show notes:


0:42: Interview: Mike LaVitola, Co-Founder & CEO, Foxtrot Market -- LaVitola spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif about lessons learned from a forerunner to Foxtrot, communicating the company’s business model to consumers and industry professionals and the retailer’s target consumer. He also explained how analytical and anecdotal data factor into the Foxtrot’s product selection and merchandising strategy, managing logistical challenges as it relates to sourcing and inventory and why not everything the company carries is trendy or “better for you.” Later, he discussed why Foxtrot is adding more private label items while staying focused on telling brand stories, the importance of a physical store presence, assessing long-term value when determining the locations of new stores and what he views as the company’s biggest threats. 

Brands in this episode: Dunkaroos, Oreo, Coca-Cola, Olipop, Van Leeuwen, High Road Ice Cream, Haagen-Dazs, Halo Top, Banza