For as long as I’ve lived on my own, making a Plaid Pantry run has felt like the ultimate adulthood freedom. Which is funny, considering that buying a a single tall-boy and a Kit Kat bar at 11 p.m. isn’t very adult. The point, I suppose, is that if I want to buy alcohol and candy after bedtime, I can: no parents, no rules.
So, I’ve got positive associations with convenience stores. Here in health-conscious Portland, many do not—and yet, the “c-store” industry, as it’s called, is as strong in Oregon as anywhere (and that’s quite strong). In my cover feature for this month's Oregon Business, I talk to Plaid Pantry CEO Chris Girard, former New Seasons head Lisa Sedlar, and others to try to untangle this paradox.