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Food, Fresh, Friendly

Enmarket rebrands itself to highlight a focus on healthy living.

​By Sarah Hamaker

What’s in a name? For enmarket, the relatively new moniker for Enmark Stations, the name encompassed more than just a new brand—it heralded a change in company policy.

“We had been known for competitively priced quality fuel and competitively priced tobacco products,” said Matt Clements, director of marketing for Enmarket Stations Inc. “While those two categories are important to our business now and in the future, our brand has evolved into much more than that. The branding change better expresses our transformation into a convenience store with fresh foods.”

The Savannah, Georgia-based company operates 61 stores, four of which have received the new enmarket name, with additional stores in the process of converting. The transformation has two major components aside from the name change: an increased prominence on nutritious and fresh products, and continued care for the well-being of customers through its Encourage Health Education lecture series.

Healthy Values
“Healthy” has become a buzzword in many industries, including convenience stores, as consumers embrace a more wholesome way of living. For enmarket, a focus on fresh foods and a healthier lifestyle echoed the company’s mission statement: To enrich life in the communities we serve.

“Offering healthier options at our stores reflects our corporate values,” Clements said. “We’re always going to carry snack foods, but we also want to provide healthy alternatives for our employees and customers. We feel that a convenience store is a good place to have those options.”

In December, enmarket added fresh sandwiches, salads and fruit cups to its fresh whole fruit. A new vendor specializing in better-for-you organic and non-GMO snack options provided additional healthy products. “Those changes were in nearly all stores, as we’ve been making internal changes to our merchandise to each location at the same time, while the external rebranding will take longer,” Clements said.

Customers have embraced the changes. “It certainly has been positive, with regular customers saying they’re stopping to pick up fresh food items with us rather than a fast-food restaurant or grocery store,” he said. The four-foot healthy snack section has generated strong sales.

The stress on healthy living also has spilled over to the employees, with enmarket investing in “upgrading its talent at the store level through training to help our employees become more aware of the why behind what we do,” Clements said. In addition to training, the company ensures that salary and entry level wages are competitive for its workers.

Healthy Talk
While food is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, so is learning about other ways to live well. That’s why enmarket has been hosting its Encourage Health Education Series, which provides a free lunch and lecture to the community four times annually for the past few years. The company partners with Healthy Savannah, the Savannah Morning News, Savannah Magazine, TV station WJCL and Georgia Public Broadcasting for these events.

In addition to experts sharing insights on nutrition and fitness, each lecture benefits a specific charity, which receives a $2,000 check. To garner community input, enmarket asks for nominations, and the community is invited to vote on which four nonprofits should be honored each year via Facebook “likes.” “We choose the organizations that received the most likes on our Facebook page,” Clements said. This year’s recipients are the Boy Scouts of America, Coastal Georgia Council, Savannah AMBUCS, the Savannah Tree Foundation and Urban Hope.

“The contest allows us to generate activity on our Facebook page, and it also provides some buzz about our Encourage Health Education Series,” he said.

Each of the winning nonprofits also have a designated enmarket Dollar Day, during which the group receives $1 for every car wash, as well as donations from enmarket customers at the registers and a charity table.

“This series reflects our corporate values, and it helps us to increase awareness of what it takes to be healthy in our community,” he said. Other ways enmarket promotes a healthier lifestyle include sponsoring the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run, a 5K, 10K and 15K race held each December. The company also has partnered with Farm Truck 912, which brings fresh produce to local underserved communities.

“We believe that we all benefit when the collective population is healthy,” Clements said. “We’re simply trying to make it easier for customers to make healthier choices at our stores, while still providing indulgent options.”

Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer and NACS Daily and NACS Magazine contributor based in Fairfax, Virginia. Visit her online at www.sarahhamaker.com.