Mini-Mart

The good and bad thing about digital imagery is that it is easy to forget about, but at the same time just as easy to pull back out and put to use. The ease of taking digital photos and then storing them away can be a little scary at times. But, then again going back and revisiting is always a fun process.

At the NAHBS this year we tried to go with an unconventional booth space. Carey, Slate and I sat around at a coffee shop nearby in Portland about two months before the show happened to see what we could come up with. I looked back through my notes and found that we had a couple ideas that we were talking about, but the one that we kept coming back to was the theme around the convenience store.

This type of store has always been a part of what we do with the Rapha Continental. The long rides through the countryside where calories can and will be subsidized by the occasional stop at a convenience store. Remembering where they are located is a talent that some people retain.

And everyone treats them a little differently.

Ira Ryan is in and out as fast as he can. He will usually be sitting on his bike lightly tapping his cleat and waiting for the rest of us. Ben Leiberson is even worse. Most times he does not even get off his bike. Cole on the other hand taught me how to enjoy beef jerky and maybe a tall High Life on the bike, while Dan Action gave me an appreciation for the ice-cream sandwich. PVB will get a coke and on my first trip over the Vermont Six Gap he instilled its value into a cranky version of myself. Steve Francisco will seek out something that he can mix his famous potions with and Slate leans a little towards the sickly sweet – Snickers? Sure. Raspberry Zinger if you will. And he will. Me, well, I’m usually the one making Ira wait as I want it all and can never make up my mind.

So, it was with these thoughts, or something like it, in mind that Carey started compiling imagery and furnishings to start to build out the booth. We employed the use of a local business that really rents stuff out to convenience stores for most of the fittings. Then there was the cigarette packs that were rebranded to include the names of all of the rides that we have done over the last three years.

Giving the mini-mart a Rapha twist was part of the trick though which is why the design work went into full on sickness inducing overtime. Carey held it down by designing and redesigning almost everything that went into the “store.” But a thanks to some of the others who helped to make the booth great: Taza Chocolate, Monocle, Inventory Magazine, The Ride Journal, and Bicycling all chipped in with their goods to make sure that we looked and felt like a convenience store but still had that rapha feel to it. -ha.