Farm Stores Move Into Cargotecture
Founded in 1957 in Florida, Farm Stores has started aggressive expansion plans across the US East Coast. Core to this expansion is construction of drive-thru shipping container units.
Farm Stores started out as a bakery and dairy foods chain in Florida in the late 1950s. At the time there was a real trend in the ‘drive-thru’ concept. In the US you can ‘drive-thru’ a bank, go to the cinema or have a burger (the only successful drive-thru export to the world beyond!).
Farm Stores used the concept for families to go to a hatch at a shop, make their orders and park in a carpark beyond where they would be given their goods and then go about their day.
As trends and time progressed, so the Farm Stores brand moved into what we might call the convenience store, selling everything from bleach to milk, from aspirins to beers and the rest. The company expanded within Florida to 65 locations – a nice sized medium-sized business.
Farm Stores container construction
Speaking to CS News, CEO of Farm Stores Maurice Bared said, “I had this vision of a Farm Store in a container for two reasons. First, the shoebox layout of a container is the same exact size as our stores. I also grew up in the construction industry with my father having his own business. It’s where I saw the foremen had converted shipping containers into their offices.”
Shipping containers are mobile storage boxes that with the right footings can be dropped almost anywhere. That’s the first facet important to the Farm Stores brand – that the units can be identical without and within, allowing the shop assistant to quickly process the orders made by the customer.
They can also be modified quite cheaply so the central unit has an open side for the assistants to be in contact with the customer while taking the order. They can also be plumbed into the local grid effectively. Each unit has an employee bathroom, plumbing and electricity, as well as a bread oven and storage.
“The containers are very strong and made to withstand inclement weather, even hurricane force winds,” said Bared. The container based shops are hurricane-proof. Louisiana has had its butt kicked with increasingly powerful hurricanes in the last few years – just this week large tracts of the state have been flooded and battered by one of those storms.
Cargotecture allows for factory construction and minimal on-site construction time. Bared estimates that by outsourcing construction and having the buildings being fitted out off-site can make for a 40% cost saving on bricks and mortar.
Farm Stores goes East Coast wide
The Scott, Louisiana store is one of the first Farm Stores outside of Florida. Some 65 are planned to be built as far north as Connecticut, all
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