The new Walsh Village Market reinvents the convenience store for the 21st century.
The foundation of urban and suburban life, the bodega or convenience store has become an essential one-stop shop for grabbing last-minute dry goods, snagging tasty (but not necessarily healthy) snacks and filling up the tank with gas. That is, until now.
Reinventing the Quick Stop for a new generation, the Walsh Village Market follows a bright, airy aesthetic while aiming to serve as a delicious community hub for Walsh residents.
“In small towns in Texas, the gas station is where you catch up on the neighborhood happenings,” says Cameron R. Cook, the store’s general manager. “You start the day with a cup of coffee and check your email. When the kids get out of school, they’ll have a snack. (The Village Market) doesn’t feel like just a gas station—it’ll hopefully have a coffee house vibe, where people are encouraged to linger.”
Originally from Los Angeles (he got to Texas “as soon as he could”) with an accomplished foodie career, Cook spent 14 years working in the restaurant industry, starting with his first job as a teenager delivery driver for Prego’s Italian Restaurant in Dallas. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University in Denver with dual degrees in Foodservice Management and Culinary Arts, Cook has held such disparate positions as bartender at Bishop Art’s Bolsa, cocktail program manager at the now-defunct American Food & Beverage in Fort Worth, and general manager at Fixture Kitchen & Social Lounge on Magnolia Avenue.
Approached by his former Bolsa colleague Anisha Mandol (a former business development manager for Central Market), who serves as the Market’s culinary consultant, Cook joined the company with an eye to add a gourmet twist to the traditional stock.
“We’re trying to offer more health conscious and responsibly produced products,” he explains. “We’ll have all the staples like M&Ms and Doritos and Milky Ways, but we’ll focus more on craftier boutique brands like Mediterranean veggie chips, organic cheese puffs and local beef jerkies. We’ve got classic sodas, but we’ve got a whole door dedicated to Topo Chico, Pellegrino and La Croix.”
In addition to top-quality favorites such as Annie’s Homegrown, Horizon Organics, Nantucket Nectars and Stumptown Coffee, the Market will also offer a range of locally made products such as Bearded Brothers energy bars, Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa, and Texas Made Teas. The craft coffee brand Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters have collaborated with Walsh to do a private label version of their “Sunset” blend, and residents can also purchase bags of their freshly roasted beans to brew at home.
The Market’s menu of grab-and-go meals is provided by the culinary delivery service Meyer & Sage, which is conveniently located down the road from Walsh. Devised by Chef Callie Salls and executive chef Lauren Cook (who happens to be Cameron’s wife), the menu’s twist on classics like turkey and cheese sandwiches and chopped chicken salads are designed to be guilt-free, healthy options for residents and visitors alike.
With plans to add in extras like a bar supply rack for entertaining, wine and beer tastings and an expanded selection of Fort Worth-centric treats, Cook anticipates the Village Market becoming the nucleus of the Walsh development.
“Our ultimate goal is to be a cool hang out spot while offering the convenience of a local gas station.”
The Walsh Village Market is located at 13801 Walsh Avenue, across the street from the Walsh model home park and is open Monday – Saturday from 7 AM – 7 PM; and on Sundays from noon – 7 PM.