If Whole Foods & 7-Eleven Had a Love Child'

"Eco-convenience market" expands deli menu, seeks second location

Published in CSP Daily News

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Locali Conscious Convenience's pre-packaged meals and baked goods from local food artisans along with their deli menu have lead sales since the January 2009 opening of the "mom-and-pop" convenience store.

The owners describe Locali this way: "If Whole Foods and 7-Eleven had a love child, Locali Conscious Convenience might just be theirs."

Locali offers value and sustainable foodservice with its full-service deli. Catering to vegans and omnivores alike, as well as those with gluten and soy allergies, Locali's soups, salads and sandwiches draw a [image-nocss] loyal following, it said.

The small-format eco and health friendly market packs a selected inventory of natural and organic food, beverages, coffee, wine, beer, health, beauty and household items into under 500 square feet of retail space. Besides soups, salads and sandwiches, Locali features updated versions of several c-store favorites, such as agave-sweetened slushies, organic hot pretzels and vegan nachos.

"The majority of Locali's customer base are regulars who visit multiple times daily to enjoy our organic made-to-order menu and grab n' go selections," said owner Greg Horos.

Locali is also actively marketing its menu in the world of social media, it said, posting daily specials on Twitter and Facebook.

Inspired by in-person satisfaction and positive online dialogues from customers about Locali's fresh sandwiches, Horos, along with his wife and business partner Melissa Rosen, worked with Locali's chef and deli manager, Heather Joy Morrison, to expand the menu. The result is a mix of panini and cold sandwiches that feature Applegate Farms meats, rBGH-free cheeses and organic produce on locally baked breads.

There is also an array of vegan sandwiches. Tempeh meatball subs, vegan BLTs and faux rosemary chicken salad sandwiches are options for those who do not consume animal products or are looking to reduce their meat intake. In fact, any sandwich at Locali can be made with a non-GMO vegan meat substitute or cheese alternative upon request. All sandwiches can be made with gluten-free bread to accommodate those with celiac concerns.

The new menu is rounded out by soups, organic salads full of local greens from Kenter Canyon Farms, gluten-free wraps, loaded baked potatoes, smoothies and a variety of breakfast options.

The deli now offers half sandwiches for under $5.

"We're committed to a sustainable business model that puts community involvement and customer value first," added Rosen. "All of our service ware and deli packaging is biodegradable. We commercially compost our waste. Our recycling program benefits Recycled Movie, a film production company that teaches vocational skills to children as they make movies about the environment. We also encourage our customers to bring their reusable containers to fill up with free reverse osmosis filtered water, rather than sell petroleum-based plastic bottled water."

Locali strives to do its part to conserve while at the same time providing its community with convenient access to healthy and sustainably produced food. Completely gutting its commercial space to be as eco-friendly as possible, Locali's shelving and counters are made from reclaimed Douglas Fir wood, the appliances are energy efficient, the walls are painted with non-VOC paints, the ceiling tiles are made of recycled materials and the lighting, including outside signage, is LED.

Greg Horos and Melissa Rosen have a passion for healthy eating and a mission to make a difference through their business model, they said. Facing a "litany" of franchise requests already, the couple said that they have begun to investigate expansion. "We're also looking for the perfect second location in Los Angeles where we can fill a need," said Horos, "While at the same time, constantly searching for ways to get more involved in our current Franklin Village neighborhood."

Locali donates to various local charitable causes on an ongoing basis. From volunteering their time to lead green business workshops to working on urban farming projects to sponsoring an elementary school field trip to a Community Supported Agriculture farm, Horos, Rosen and their staff are committed to improving the lives of others in multiple small ways, "one sandwich at a time."

Locali conveniently connects the community to eco-friendly food, beverage and lifestyle products. By providing easy access to socially and environmentally responsible goods, Locali promotes conscious consumerism and healthy living, it said.