My x/y generation definition for mom-and-pops: individual business owner OR local franchise.
Do you remember a time when you could walk to the corner store, pick up "a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter" or, in Home Alone, "the milk, the eggs, and the fabric softener". You could wave hi to your neighbors sitting on the porch and to the old men sitting on milk crates chatting outside the... YES, you do. If you live in a dense city, you do. It's now. If you do not remember life like this and you live in America, it means you live in one of the following: a city that has gone through economic hardship, a suburb, an office park, farmland, or (insert opinion) a new urbanist community that promised you these moments and didn't follow through. If you long for that Mom-and-Pops lifestyle, go out there, find it, and grab it! I know, I know, the Big Box phenomenon has suffocated the Mom-and-Pops scene and you're angry... this post is not going there.
In the family tree of Local Retail, street vending is an in-law to the moms-and-pops. It associates with the family yet it has a distinct genetic makeup and nature. The sometimes destabilizing temporary urban moments where the guy will pick up his bag of purses and run away once he sees an officer of the law sets vending apart from the mom-and-pops.
Pop-up stores, retail kiosks, and the trending cupcake trucks are cousins to mom-and-pops. As cousins, they are the kind that have met more than once but not the kind that have kissed; their relationship lies somewhere in between. Yes, the mom-and-pop store represents the stable, hardworking, local that pays special attention to its customers while the pop-up store "pops up" and "down" and is shipped away after any given season and the cupcake truck drives away returning only if 'enough' Chocolaty Chippy Deluxes were sold. Let's put time aside for minute.
|Image from CBC|
|Image from NBC|
The aspect of time is a trait from the street vending in-law branch. Without temporary or transient, we wouldn't recognize steady and regular. Bo Duke, the younger and wild cousin and Luke Duke, the mature and rational cousin on the Dukes of Hazzard, clearly needed a bit of each other to successfully carry out a plan. What would mom-and-pops be without the retail phenomenon of pop-up?
|Dukes of Hazzard|
Check out this design competition, Pop-Up Store Challenge by Design by Many, and vote for your favorite.
Vogue | The Talent Store" Officially Launches at Fidenza Village With Special Guest Olivia Palermo