Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Retail store success: Rice Epicurean Market

Rice Epicurean Market is a third-generation family-owned grocery store in the Houston area. Founded in 1937, Rice Boulevard Food Market changed its name to Rice Epicurean Market in 1988 and began focusing more on upscale specialty foods, like dry-aged prime beef; Aunt Fanny's Granola, produced by famed chef Alice Waters; and Fungusamungus, a line of exotic mushroom soup mixes from Snohomish, Wash. Currently, there are five stores. Here's an interview with the owner about their success and their niche market.

The lesson once again for independent retailers -- there are plenty of products at the upscale end of the market that the big discounters don't sell. That's your niche; that's where the profit margins and customer loyalty are.

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