NORMAN — A new drive-thru retail concept called the Cube aims to be more a convenient kind convenience store, only don’t call it that, said company co-founder Jake Sharp.
“Convenience store seems like such a dirty word these day,” Sharp said. “Neighborhood concierge is the best thing we could come up with.”
The new store will offer customers lattes and cappuccinos, as well as fresh food items like pastries, sandwiches and wraps. Freshly baked pizza also will be on the menu, as well as health and beauty and grocery items. Customers will be able to order items from their smart phones using a mobile app, and have those items waiting to pick up when they arrive.
The first Cube store is under construction in Norman on the site of a long-closed tobacco shop near W Main Street and N Berry Road with a targeted opening date in October.
Sharp, who owns two drive-thru tobacco shops in Lawton, said he saw demand for a store that was targeted at customers who don’t want to get out of their cars to grab a gallon of milk or diapers.
He has partnered with Joe Lawrence, a recently retired Navy pharmacist who now serves as Cube CEO, and contractor Steve Rich to develop the Cube concept.
“The idea behind the Cube is that we are going to put up nice, new, good-looking structures that are drive-thru only and carry items catering to the communities they are in,” Lawrence said. “We started talking about what is really convenient about a convenience store, and there are a lot of things that aren’t very convenient.”
The Cube prototype under construction in Norman looks more like a trendy restaurant or cafe than a convenience store. The modern architecture style was chosen to get away from the look and feel of a convenience store, Lawrence said.
“We took steps to brand ourselves differently than a convenience store, but you will have a similar selection of convenience store items — health and beauty items, snacks, sodas, beer, ice, tobacco products.”
The business hopes to expand to multiple locations across the metro area after fine-tuning the concept with its first Norman location, Lawrence said.
“Norman is our test store.”