We’re an online convenience store designed to keep up with your life.
We just so happen to be owned by a cat.
This is the story of how we got started.
We got started as co-founders, Terrell and Kelsey, after we were at a store in our neighborhood buying snacks one day. We noticed that the woman at the next register was buying items like soap, shampoo, and baby care needs. At first, we thought it was great that this store had decided to make these brands accessible to the neighborhood they served. Until we overheard the total for the few items she had requested. We couldn’t believe how much she was spending. She had little choice but to purchase these items at the premium of convenience. This was one of the only stores in the entire neighborhood that stocked these items. We both wondered: If she shops there regularly, how much money could she be saving if she had another option? Is she missing out on a product that she might like better, might do a better job, or might be better for her health? We started finding answers to our questions.
We lived in a lower income majority black neighborhood in the Washington DC area. This area faces the same realities that many other lower income areas do, one in particular is a lack of access to resources like personal care products, healthy foods, medicines, and baby care needs. The products that are accessible usually represent the most common brands in their lowest quality varieties. There isn’t a lot of opportunity for people to explore other brands that may be healthier for their lifestyle and their families, or save them money in bulk. The retailers that do exist in these areas price exorbitant markups on everyday necessities, while often offering lackluster customer experiences that don’t introduce or offer new and better options.
We thought about what we could do. Our communities are in the middle of a global pandemic. Social unrest is at an all time high, and the disparities in our communities are becoming even more apparent. We thought about how we can connect the people in neighborhoods like ours to healthier choices, while giving them access to the products they need. We also wanted to introduce people to exciting products that encourage them to spend time with their loved ones, take good care of themselves, and enhance their overall quality of life.
There are a lot of powerful options in getting everyday items to your home these days. The communities we serve, in many cases, fall through the cracks when it comes to obtainability of these services. Lack of access points can prohibit many of the people in these areas from getting the things they need. We’re finding this can be a lot of different things. Many delivery services flat out refuse to drop-off to many areas that are most vulnerable. Many of the people we hope to serve are not familiar with how to use a smartphone or computer, or they may not have access to these devices. They may not have a regular bank account where they feel comfortable making their purchases online with a faceless company. We’re also finding that theres a possibility they could live in an internet dead-zone. Or don’t want to risk any type of contact with someone outside of their home. We’re here to develop and introduce new ways of connecting everyone with access to the things they need. This means building a different type of store, and leveraging the technologies we’re designing to offer a new level of service. That’s why we opened Mr.Noru!
Noru (Mr.Noru) is a real life cat, he’s our 5 year old ragamuffin mix. He has a really interesting personality – he really likes taking care of his humans. If you’re ever sick, or just having a bad day, he picks up on it and he wants to make you feel better. Sometimes this is plenty of rubs and headbutts, other times it’s just him laying with you purring his heart out. We named the store after Mr.Noru because he reminds us to care for others, and take the time to see how they’re doing and what you can do to make their day better.
We pick everything in the store with caring for our communities at heart. We consider how each item will fulfill someones needs, balanced with affordability and longevity of the product. When we can, we stock bulk options and always encourage ways for you to save money.
Thank You for coming to visit us today. We hope we have everything you need, and if we don’t, let us know. We’d gladly help you find what you’re looking for.
-The Mr.Noru family