When Carlos Burton was a teenager growing up in Covington, he always noticed convenience stores and how important they were to the fabric of neighborhoods.
“Where I lived I always looked at the stores on the corner and I always wanted to purchase one,” said Burton, who graduated from Covington High School in 2012 and is now 26.
He ended up working in the medical field as a stretch practitioner.
Over the years, however, he quite often talked to long-time girlfriend Rashunica Holland, a 2012 Brighton graduate and teacher at Covington Integrated Arts Academy, about his desire.
The duo bounced ideas off each other and came up with the concept of a mobile convenience store called Convenience on Wheels.
“I was like, ‘We’re in the information age and we can get something on wheels so it could be even more accessible to the people,'” Burton said.
Holland and Burton kicked off their business enterprise, believed to be the first of its kind in Tennessee, with a grand opening last Friday at Tractor Supply in Covington. They parked their converted passenger van in the parking lot and sold shaved ice and other snacks to a large group of people.
“It was a hit,” Holland said. “We had a lot of people show their support.”
This week Convenience on Wheels will hit neighborhoods in Brighton, Covington, Munford and Atoka and sell just about everything a brick and mortar convenience store offers. Soft drinks, coffee, bottled water, candy, chips and tobacco, and even things like tooth paste and deodorant, will be available. Because of county laws, alcohol will not be sold.
The immediate plan is to drive around neighborhoods for a couple of hours during the day and two more at night. There are also plans for Convenience on Wheels to set up at festivals and offer hot food of some sort.
“Right now we’re trying to figure out what days and hours work best,” Burton said.
A 16-ounce soft drink can be purchased for $2.
“All in all, our prices are about the same as a convenience store,” Burton said. “We’re not upcharging. We want to be of service to our people.”
“We’ve always talked about ownership, being the owners of something,” Holland said. “We’ve turned our vision into reality.”