CALIFORNIA KING: AU Energy Redefines The C-store Experience for Golden State ConsumersBy Mitch Morrison | Photography By Caroline Tudor
AU Energy LLC and Vintners Distributors have created one of the industry’s most innovative retail concepts, Loop Neighborhood. This network of 23 stores in California, launched in 2013, features a modernized aesthetic and an emphasis on fresh, trend-driven products. We recently interviewed COO Pervez Pir about the company’s latest new build.
Loop Neighborhood: New Type of Convenience Stores
Originally published at Impakter.The other day I walked into a San Francisco Loop Neighborhood store and was astounded at what it had to offer– frozen yogurt, fresh sandwiches, a salad bar, and a fully stocked hydration station. Compared to typical convenience stores I found that Loop offered something far beyond the typical selection of chips, beef jerky, and soda. I was lucky enough to meet with Varish Goyal, the owner and president of Loop Neighborhood stores, and ask him questions regarding this new wave of convenient stores. Read More
Welcome to Loop Neighborhood
Rebuilt Shell Station with Loop market caters to bicyclists on Bay Trail
Originally published at examiner.com.If you feel a new gas station is just what Emeryville needs, check out the shiny 24/7 Shell station with a market called Loop, which opened Friday with concessions or features attractive to the pedestrians and bicyclists on the San Francisco Bay Trail and the new path over the Bay Bridge. The path will go all the way to Treasure Island this summer. The new station erected a bike repair post and park bench as well as new landscaping with some birds of paradise. The redesigned Shell station seems to be state of the art as far as the market goes although still just a gas station, at a strategic corner of the Frontage Road and Powell Street, which runs to the marina. It’s the corner of on-ramps where protestors shut down the 880 freeway recently. The new gas station while inviting and state of the art, looks strictly convenience food with no picnic or café seating other than a few bar stools inside. Location, location, location The Shell station and Loop probably will have minimal impact on the little mall down Powell. That’s the Watergate Market and it’s reknowned deli sandwiches; and BBQs in front with the picnic tables. The police based across the street like to frequent the BBQs. Roba’s Pizza at Watergate must be the East Bay’s best kept secret next to the market's deli, each a favorite among those at the marina. Although there seems to be no pizza at Loop, the market and gas station stay open 24/7 unlike Watergate with it's conventional hours. Two other gas stations with markets operate within two blocks of the Loop, one a block away and another two blocks away, each up Powell. Only the Watergate Market and the gas station furthest up Powell sell propane, which boaters need for their marine cooking. Orange is the new black The Shell station looks amusement-park bright and cheerful, since it’s not only creamsicle white and orange but also state of the art with surprising arrays of offerings better than a country fair. It’s a lot more than gas including an upscale convenience market; a bicycle repair post on the corner; a car wash with big orange spinning mops; immaculate bathrooms with faux wood flooring and orange walls; recycling and compost bins inside and out. It’s almost a retro 1960s orange and has a cheerful, nostalgic appeal with young women and men in bright orange polo shirts working. Healthier options such as a salad bar; seaweed and kale; bacon sunflower seeds The healthier food options hold their own against some classic snack foods with unique and new treats. A salad bar lets customers make their own at $5.99 a pound. Sandwiches and wraps go up to about $6.49 for a turkey and cranberry sandwich. Chips abound and one comes from New Orleans in the form of Zapps Creole Onion. Many healthy chips sit side by side and an entire section looks as if Loop devoted itself to seaweed snacks and kale. Sunflower seeds seem to bridge the two, in flavors including bacon or jalapeno salsa. Boutique beverages, lemonades organic or hard Since you will be thirsty, the walls of refreshing beverages sparkle under the bright lights, with many natural and organic options including many boutique lemonades, one rose flavored lemonade and some hard ones and hard ciders, besides some tantalizing other adult beverages and a big locked walk-in fridge of 38 degree beer. Cold refreshments are self-serve otherwise. .One IPA from San Diego on the open shelf has a big fish on the label and is called “Ballast”. The self-serve frozen yogurt comes in four flavors with self-serve toppings. Slushy drinks come in flavors at a self-serve machine. There’s the requisite soda machine. Loop will offer some nice teas as well while Loop offers it’s own line of coffee and beans called “Rico Suave” with all kinds of flavors of coffee mate in the little one-tablespoon cups. If you want mochas and frozen coffee drinks, Loop will prepare coffee drinks as well as chai. Hot snacks to go include some frozen or cold things to microwave such as chicken vindaloo, tikki masala and tandoori as well as hamburgers. Loop serves grilled hot dogs for $1.50 at the counter, rollers, tater tots for .99 and chicken wings with condiments such as jalapenos and sauerkraut and salsa. Sunday Loop put out samples of the bakery treats from the counter such as the moist and flavorful apricot Danish and a moist and chewy gingersnap. However the classic two pack of Hostess Twinkies will run you two dollars.