Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Aug. 16, 2022

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OMW Uptown Market opens in Vancouver space formerly occupied by Sugar & Salt

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Bloody Mary ingredients sit on a table Tuesday at OMW Uptown Market.
Bloody Mary ingredients sit on a table Tuesday at OMW Uptown Market. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Newlyweds Poppy Marler and Will Kitchen opened their wholesome convenience store OMW (On My Way) Uptown Market on Saturday in the space formerly occupied by Sugar & Salt Bakery.

Their compact market at 207 E. McLoughlin Blvd. is packed with healthy ingredients like dried lentils and fresh produce, as well as a carefully selected array of condiments including fish sauce and tahini to help customers quickly grab items to take home and cook. It also offers a curated collection of craft beer and wine.

“It’s a convenience store without energy drinks or fried food,” said Marler.

Marler and Kitchen — who met in the Vancouver Run, Grub and Chug Club — say they want to bring their own take on a healthy lifestyle that embraces a love for food and drink to their new store.

In addition to wholesome products, OMW offers an innovative shopping experience. While large grocery stores are designed to encourage roaming to get customers to buy items that aren’t on their list, OMW Uptown Market’s design focuses on efficiency. Items are bundled together to allow quick, grab-and-go shopping.

The couple want to stock locally grown produce in the large center area of their store. They’ve reached out to the Second Mile Marketplace and plan to contact the Vancouver Farmers Market to pack this part of the store. The central area also includes bundles of ingredients with recipe cards and a suggested wine pairing from the shop.

“The point is to have recipes that match TikTok recipes with a little pack of ingredients for people to buy,” said Kitchen.

As time goes on, the owners envision having pre-prepped ingredients clustered together like a meal kit but without the shipping costs charged by online subscription services.

On one side of the shop sits tea from Steven Smith Teamaker, along with Local Hive Northwest honey, coconut milk and jam. A rack filled with carefully picked condiments and sauces like red curry paste and Sriracha and other quick-cooking ingredients like dry rice noodles rests midway through the space beside a refrigerator filled with cans of Liquid Death mountain water and another stocked with craft beer like Orange Whip by Fortside Brewing Co.

Cinnamon rolls, cookies and other baked goods from the on-site kitchen will fill the glass case on the other side of the space. Stumptown drip coffee is available to sip with the pastries.

OMW Uptown Market also sells wine and beer. Two craft beer selections will rotate through the taps near the bakery case. Beer and wine sales, along with a small seating area in front, create a spot for customers to meet with friends after work to sip beer or wine before grabbing groceries to cook. Earlier in the day, people can meet up for pastries and coffee.

The market, which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, will change based on customers’ needs.

“We want to be a neighborhood-friendly place,” said Marler. “We want you to tell us what you want.”

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