Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Local Report - Locali

3.7 miles, about 8 minutes, from my home in Atwater Village.

Another ‘local’ find is Locali Conscious Convenience – a sort of ‘green,’ organic convenience store, or, as they call themselves on their website, ‘your sustainable neighborhood market’. Several blog postings and articles already written have called it ‘a 7-11 for hippies’ and ‘a small-format, hybrid grocery and Locali 001convenience store’. The reference to 7-11 was something that came to mind as Robert and I visited the store this past weekend. It felt like a ‘green’ 7-11. An idea that appeals. I immediately had visions of more of these stores on neighborhood corners around the country. I believe that is the intention of husband and wife owners, Greg Horos and Melissa Rosen.

Here is a description from Locali’s Facebook page: ‘Locali was constructed in an environmentally sound manner and serves local, organic, natural and most importantly, delicious food and beverages. The market seeks to make healthy eating and eco-friendly necessities easily accessible to those on the go. Roughly translated from Italian, locali means "community".

It’s a bold idea that I hope succeeds. The shop on Hollywood’s' Franklin Avenue is in a small strip mall, a block away from a Gelson’s grocery store. The tiny space is chock full of green, organic, sustainable items. Once inside the store the feeling I had was much like entering a 7-11 – that of sensory overload. But not in the way I experience a 7-11 which is a desire to get in and out as fast as possible. After we ordered sandwiches I perused the shelves. In the back a freezer contained pre-packaged, frozen, organic chicken and beef selections amongst other frozen grocery and food items – easy to grab on the drive home from work. Prepackaged sandwiches, salads, bottled drinks and other grab-and-go items sat in a refrigerated case along one wall. Other shelves held other convenience store standbys: energy efficient light bulbs, alternative shampoos and toothpastes, as well as energy-saver kits. Near the front window was a small collection of organic wine, beer and sake.

At the main counter you can order off a menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items including seasonal, organic tamales from La Guera Tamalera, and Haute Dogs on Multigrain Buns – grass-fed beef hotdogs from Let’s Be Frank. Other convenience store-style items include low glycemic sno-cones; slushies made from agave sweetened, ginger infused, fruit juice; fair trade, organic coffee from The Coffee Cellar; as well as natural and locally made bakery items. They will also make menu items vegan and gluten-free. The sandwich menu states that their deli meats come from Applegate Farms and are antibiotic, hormone, gluten and casein free.

When our sandwiches were done – a Franklin Phenomenon (turkey, Monterey jack, spinach, tomato, red onion, and chipotle sauce served hot on pretzel bread) for me ($8.95) and a Peaceful Warrior (turkey, red onion, arugula, red pepper, mango chutney, curry spread on pretzel bread) for Robert ($8.95) – I grabbed a bag of Boulder Canyon Kettle Cooked Potato Chips ($1.29) and went to the grab-and-go case for a bottle of water. I have to admit that I was flummoxed by the offerings. I didn’t see any plastic in the case. I had to ask the person at the counter where the water was and he pointed to a row of glass bottles. I sheepishly grabbed a bottle of Mountain Valley Spring Water – a lovely green, glass bottle ($1.59). I quickly realized that I needed to break my plastic habit while fully appreciating that there were no plastic bottles for sale. Green and sustainable just like they claim.

As I absorbed all of this I found myself wishing there was a Locali on a corner near my Atwater Village condo – if there was I’d be in it all the time. And just think how much thinner and healthier the citizens of our country might be if there was one Locali for every 7-11 type convenience store already in existence across the country. One can dream.


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5825 Franklin Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Locali Conscious Convenience on Urbanspoon

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  1. Charles, You made our millennium with your thoughtful post on our store. We really appreciate your visit and taking the time to write about us. Please stop by again soon! Warmest Regards, Melissa

  2. interesting.. might have to stop by now... thanks!