Everyday Deals opens its doors

Portland-based grocery retailer offers food near or past the sell-by date




Everyday Deals

Where: 2109 St. Johns Blvd.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

What: The store specializes in discounted food that is at or near its expiration date, as well as other products.

Portland-based grocery retailer Everyday Deals has opened its newest store in Vancouver, where it sells discounted food that is often near or past its sell-by date, as well as some non-food products.

The store fills the building at 2109 St. Johns Blvd., formerly occupied by St. Johns IGA, which closed in December.

Everyday Deals owner Steve Harkless surprised himself when he decided to expand to Vancouver.

"I swore I would never open a store in Vancouver, because of the sales tax," he said. Harkless said he broke that vow when a friend who had sold meat to the St. Johns IGA told him about the site.

"I loved the building and the neighborhood is wonderful," Harkless said.

Melissa Wilson and Krystal White co-manage the Vancouver store. White said the location is convenient for residents of the many nearby apartments.

Vancouver resident Monty Courtway said last week that he was making his first visit to Everyday Deals, but said that he "saw eight good deals in the first 18 feet"after he walked in the door.

Courtway said that customers need to be aware of the age of the food when shopping at the store. "Especially with produce, you only want to buy it if you know you'll use it in the next day or two," he said.

According to Harkless, the store's first week exceeded his $4,000 per day revenue goal, despite not holding a grand opening. Harkless said he decided against a grand opening because he wanted "the opportunity to fix some mistakes" before the big crowd came in.

Still, the store was swamped on its first day, Wilson said. "I think a lot of people just came to check it out," White said.

Harkless said he plans some major renovations for the next six months, including replacing the lighting and the St. Johns IGA's old compressors and opening a service deli.

"I'm about $200,000 away from making this place what it should be," he said.