Choice Market, in partnership with St. Louis-based Health Hospitality Partners (HHP), created the first autonomous market in a health care setting. Dubbed Mini-Mart, the concept will launch on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in the second quarter. It will feature Choice Now, a technology that uses artificial intelligence and cameras to check out customers without the need for a cashier and offers consumers high-quality prepared food, natural groceries and everyday necessities.
The inaugural location will also include Central, a Pan-American kitchen featuring customizable bowls, tacos, burritos, salads and sandwiches from sustainable, healthy ingredients sourced locally whenever possible.
“We couldn’t be more excited to announce this partnership with HHP and CU Anschutz,” said Mike Fogarty, founder and CEO of Choice. “At Choice, we firmly believe that food is medicine, and this innovative format will provide doctors, nurses, students, patients and families with 24/7 access to high-quality and nutritious options. This is truly a game-changer in the health care hospitality sector.”
Fogarty presented at the National Retail Federation’s trade show in the session “Transforming the Culture of Convenience.” Rachel Krupa, founder and CEO of The Goods Mart, and Carla Dunham, chief marketing officer of Foxtrot, joined him on the panel at the Javits Center in New York. Fogarty will also headline a session at the NACS Leadership Forum in Miami Beach, Fla., next month.
Mini-Mart was specifically designed for non-traditional retail spaces such as hospitals, airports and campuses and is driven by the expertise of both partners in food, tech and hospitality, the companies said. Choice and HPP have plans to expand the concept nationwide.
“As we have forged ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill our mission to bring hospitality to health care, Choice has separated itself from the pack of cutting-edge retailers who provide delicious, nutritious and affordable offerings for stakeholders throughout the health-care ecosystem,” said Chief Operating Officer at HHP Cory Sullivan. “We are looking forward to announcing additional locations around the country with this partnership in the year ahead.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Choice and HHP to provide the thousands of hard-working healthcare professionals on our campus with nutritious dining options they deserve, especially after giving their all throughout the pandemic,” said Jay Campbell, associate vice chancellor of facilities management and planning at CU Anschutz. “We’re also excited to help establish a blueprint to be modeled on medical campuses nationwide.”
Choice, based in Denver, is a convenience retailer which combines high-quality prepared food, natural groceries and everyday necessities with an omnichannel customer experience.