CEDAR RAPIDS — Downtown residents and workers should have a new place to grab a bread, milk and other basics next month.
Modteets Williams plans to open his first convenience store, Mod’s Market, on the first floor of the Roosevelt building, at the corner of First Avenue NE and Second Street NE.
Williams, a Chicago native turned Cedar Rapidian, signed a lease for the space last August. It’s gone through renovations the past few months.
A recent visit showed newly installed floors and an almost finished ceiling. Shelving and refrigerators sat in boxes and awaited installation.
The market, Williams said, will fill a hole he sees for the growing city. While Chicago may have a 7/11 or other convenience shops on almost every corner, options in downtown Cedar Rapids are limited.
“I see the development of Cedar Rapids and the direction it’s going and I think it would have been nice to be able to have a convenient place to get some items, also wine, other toiletries as well and just grab-and-go snacks, fruit, fountain drinks, things like that,” Williams said.
Williams does not yet have a specific opening date, but hopes to start serving customers in early July.
Downtown is home to another convenience store, 3rd Street Convenience, located at 216 Third Street SE. A grocery store is planned as part of One Park Place, the proposed 28-story tower along First Street SE.
Williams said he picked the Roosevelt for Mod’s Market because it’s next to the DoubleTree Hotel and the U.S. Cellular Center and within walking distance of a number of downtown apartment buildings. The market will occupy about 1,300 square feet next to a new Harold’s Chicken restaurant that is expected to open later this month.
“If you can walk out of your front door and pick up an item, it would be a lot easier than walking a mile or two miles to the nearest gas station,” Williams said.
Mod’s Market won’t serve as a full grocery store, and fresh food options will be limited, Williams said. Customers should be able to find fountain drinks. coffee, slushies, some fruit, grab-and-go food items, boxed foods, beer and wine, and tobacco products.
The store also is a chance for Williams to build his own company and fund future business ideas, he said.
“It’s a brand that I’m building and something that I’ve put a lot of time into. It’s something that I would like to expand throughout the country,” Williams said.
He also said he has ideas for a restaurant in the NewBo neighborhood and a mobile app to help people shop for clothes.
Mod’s Market would be open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to at least midnight, he said.
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