Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven, got back to me from Dallas
(not way back east, as I had thought from the unfamiliar
area code) and
confirmed that Port Orchard will be getting not one but two new
As Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola and Bay Street property owner
Vic Vlist have said, one will go into the former Geiger’s Pharmacy
building at 567 Bay St. in downtown Port Orchard. The other, a
ground up project, will be at 1800 Mile Hill Drive, said
“7-Eleven hasn’t opened very many stores in the Pacific
Northwest in years, so this is kind of a big deal for us,” Chabris
Counting the current store at the corner of Jackson and Lund,
that will give Port Orchard three 7-Elevens, putting us one up on
Bremerton, with one at Sixth and Park, and one on Wheaton Way.
As for the idea put forth by the mayor and Vlist that the
downtown Sev will be something new and upscale, well, maybe not
entirely. The company will be repainting the building, adding a new
glass storefront and resealing the parking lot. But Chabris could
not confirm anything about a “new concept” 7-Eleven.
Over the years, the company has introduced products like Cafe
Select and Cafe Cooler coffee drinks, and it does have deli
products, including, in some locations panini sandwiches.
But if I’m understanding Chabris correctly, 7-Eleven will not
embarrass itself by trying to be something it is not (my words, not
hers). No, Starbucks or
Panera wannabes here.
Got a thirst for a Slurpee or a Big Gulp? “Come on down!’ as the
mayor would say – it’s how he calls on people who want to address
the city council, deftly melding government process and “The Price
The store will feature the familiar Big Bite hot dogs and other
grilled food (presumably on those roller thingies). They also will
bring in fresh food and bakery items delivered daily, along with
groceries, dairy products, frozen foods and convenience items,
Randy Miller, owner of Marina Mart, across from the Port Orchard
boat ramp, is understandably none too keen on the news that
7-Eleven will be moving into the neighborhood.
“I guess any competition we’re not particularly happy about,”
said Miller, who with his wife Hye Chong took over the store last
year. “There’s not a lot you can do about it. I doubt this area
would support two (stores) just for the volume of traffic. I don’t
know. We’ll see how it works out.”
Miller said he’ll probably make “adjustments” to his inventory
to stay neck and neck with 7-Eleven, but he can’t predict what
they’ll be. His store’s long suit is “variety,” he said, and
According to Miller, Marina Mart has been a convenience store at
the same location, 528 Bay St., for at least 20 years.
Coppola has said the downtown area needs a grocery store to meet
the needs of residents and boaters at Port Orchard Marina. Chabris
said 7-Eleven tries hard to cater to what the local clientele
wants. She, being in Dallas, couldn’t say exactly how the store
will assess what locals need or want.
I’m thinking is up to citizens to sing out. What wares would you
like to see in a downtown grocery?
Here are some other things you need to know to be up on 7-Eleven
* The company has acquired stores by recruiting “mom ‘n pop”
convenience stores and converting them to 7-Elevens. The company
also has acquired smaller convenience store chains such as the
White Hen Pantry in the Chicago and Boston Areas.
* The iconic Slurpee, introduced in 1966, has undergone many
transformations, including a sugar-free version, Full Throttle Fury
Energy Slurpee and a Super Big Gulp at a whopping 44 fluid
* In 2007, the Kwik-E-Mart conversion of 12 stores plus
marketing of Simpsons products in July leading up to The Simpsons
Movie captured international attention and became the biggest
promotion in 7-Eleven’s history.
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