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I had breakfast at Foxtrot, the trendy Chicago-based 'modern convenience store' beloved by influencers — and here's why it's worth the hype

Submitted by Tech Insider on August 6, 2022 - 6:51am

Foxtrot exterior


  • Foxtrot is a Chicago-based 'modern convenience store' with a cafe, eatery, and marketplace. 
  • The company announced it raised $100 million in a Series C investing round in January. 
  • Foxtrot currently has 21 locations in Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. 

Foxtrot wants to redefine convenience stores for the modern era. 

The Chicago-based company is putting a fresh spin on the corner store, with a curated selection of local eats and unique sundries that feels like an Instagram feed come-to-life. Founded by Mike Lividly and Taylor Bloom in 2014, Foxtrot began as an online-only company, before moving into physical retail, and today aims to integrate "the best of neighborhood retail and e-commerce technology to create a community of discovery."

The strategy is working. When I moved back to Chicago in January after six years in Brooklyn, one of the first things I noticed was the ubiquity of Foxtrot stores, with their stocked cafes, warm lighting, and cozy interiors.

I quickly learned from friends that the store has become a local favorite, a go-to spot to bring your laptop or a book and camp out for awhile. It's easy to make a day of it — grabbing a coffee and a breakfast sandwich, traipsing through the aisles for a quick snack or a treat, and even hanging around for happy hour in the late afternoon. 

Now, fresh off a $100 million Series C investor round in January, Foxtrot is going national. The company has 21 stores — with new locations opened this year in Washington, Texas, and Virginia — and next up: New York and Miami. 

I visited a Foxtrot store and saw it's worth the hype. Here's what it's like. 

 

I visited a Foxtrot store located in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.
Foxtrot exterior

Upon entering, I was immediately welcomed in the cafe, which includes an array of made-to-order coffee and tea beverages, as well as an "AM Eats" and "PM Eats" menu.
Entry to Foxtrot

For those in a hurry, Foxtrot also features an extensive "Grab & Go" section filled with prepared meals and other quick bites.
Foxtrot interior

The Grab & Go section includes fresh-cut fruit and salad bowls, and Italian dinners ready to warm up.
Prepared foods at Foxtrot

There's also a mobile pick-up area for customers who place orders through the app.
Foxtrot mobile pickup area

Since the onset, Foxtrot's motto has been "marrying the best of neighborhood retail and ecommerce technology to create a community of discovery."

Foxtrot has been focused on merging the e-commerce and physical retail experience. Customers can order select goods nationwide through the app.
Foxtrot POS

Foxtrot hosts a daily happy hour in the afternoon with discounted wine and beer at the cafe. The store also features a fully stocked alcohol selection, so shoppers can grab a bottle or six-pack.
Coolers labeled "Fine Wines" inside Foxtrot Chicago

As I made my way toward the back, I found Foxtrot's take on the convenience store — with aisles filled with a mix of classic brands like Cheerios, as well as specialty items and local favorites.
Foxtrot food aisle

The store has unique items and fresh takes on traditional items, like chocolate-covered biscuits with a citrus twist and frosted animal crackers made in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Sweet treats on a shelf at Foxtrot

You'll also find essentials and personal-care items like laundry detergent and aspirin.
Toiletry items in Foxtrot

The frozen-food section includes a large selection of local ice cream as well as popular favorites, like Levain cookies, from the famous bakery based in New York City.
Foxtrot ice cream section

Foxtrot also makes its own products in-house, including these gummies.
Foxtrot gummies

There are also items like candles and bath salts scattered around the store, as well as other displays with fun gift ideas.
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Around Chicago, Foxtrot is also known as a great place to work, with its ample seating, warm lighting, and strong WiFi.
Interior workspace area of Foxtrot Chicago

This location also has an outdoor patio, located directly across from Chicago's famous Second City theater.
Foxtrot patio across the street from Chicago's famed Second City

It was a bit toasty, so I opted to stay inside.
Foxtrot interior

While I was there, I decided to try Foxtrot's breakfast. I went with a cold brew and a tasty egg sandwich, made with local farm-sourced eggs, whipped goat cheese, house-pickled pepper relish, and arugula on a brioche bun.
Foxtrot food

I can see why the Foxtrot model is working. Looking ahead, the company plans to use its influx of cash to open more stores in new cities, including New York City, Miami, and Nashville.
Foxtrot exterior

I have a feeling the rest of the country will enjoy Foxtrot as much as I did.
Interior workspace area of Foxtrot Chicago

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