into the food, its quality and freshness,” said Felz.
The company hired Ben Lucky, who has a varied
restaurant background, to lead the foodservice for
Sprint Foods and to design the menu at Metro Market. The more upscale menu has traditional c-store
fare with a twist, such as corn muffin dogs.
With a nod to its convenience store roots, Lucky
put together 10 Angus Beef hot dog selections, including the Mardi Gras with pulled pork, BBQ sauce
and Cajun spice mix, and the Doublicious Bacon
with bacon, coleslaw and fried onions. The extensive
menu also has sandwiches, soups, salads, quesadillas,
flatbreads and savory crepes. Desserts, such as sweet
crepes and bread pudding, complement the frozen
yogurt and toppings bar for a sweet ending.
Rounding out the foodservice is a wide selection of
craft beer and a wine-by-the-glass program, as well
as more than 60 wines by the bottle. A Coca-Cola
Freestyle machine dispenses fountain drinks.
To streamline ordering, customers order at one of
three touchscreen kiosks scattered throughout the
store. The menu walks customers through various
screens with photographs to allow for customiza-tion at every step. Orders are sent directly to the
kitchen, with a receipt printed out for customers to
pay at any cash register.
Metro Market also has a lot more seating than
most convenience stores, with large indoor and
outdoor seating areas, plus the rooftop patio when
available. “Right now, we probably have about 50/50
to-go orders versus dine-in,” said Felz.
A gourmet grab-and-go section has fresh-made
salads, sandwiches, pastries, cheeses and snack
packs. The coffee service went upscale too with
espresso, cappuccino, latte and mocha drinks made
by on-site baristas after customers order at a kiosk.
The location in the heart of the city provides
a cross-section of customers, including office
workers, residents and visitors. “We have a few
different segments of customers,” said Felz. “We
put a lot of thought into providing the necessities
for people who live and work downtown. The
store has a mix of really good food and beverages,
plus a one-stop shop for the things that people
need. We want to be part of people’s everyday
lives, whether it’s to pick up a few groceries for
the house, the fixings for a dinner party, a coffee
on the way to work or a leisurely lunch.”
Metro Market opened soft on August 22, with a
grand opening planned for sometime this fall. So
far, the response from customers has been better
than expected, even though the company has yet
to do a lot of marketing other than its Facebook
page. “We visited local businesses with samples
of our food and menus, but other than that, all the
customers have been from word-of-mouth and foot
traffic,” said Felz.
Sprint Foods is using the Metro Market food-
service program as a sort of testing ground before
rolling it out in various forms to existing Sprint
stores. For example, other Sprint Foods have
changed to the gourmet roasted coffee Metro
Market uses, and some have the frozen yogurt and
toppings bar, too. “We probably won’t move the
foodservice program into all of the Sprint Foods
stores but we are working on putting in the touch-
screen ordering system and some of the menu
items where appropriate,” said Felz.
Judging by the initial response, Metro Market is
well on its way to becoming a community gathering
place and destination for visitors and locals alike.
Its unique take on foodservice in a welcoming environment will have customers clamoring for more
convenience stores like this one.
A freelance writer, Sarah Hamaker is a NACS
Magazine contributing writer. Visit her online at
The inside of Metro Market is black and sleek
with a modern feel — not what customers
expect when they walk in the doors.