The Coolest Place to Be in West Texas? This Remote Grocery Store

Exploring West Texas’ Coolest Grocery Store

The town of Marathon in West Texas may seem like a place meant for passing through, but nestled among the desert landscape is a hidden gem—the French Co. Grocer. More than just a grocery store, it’s a unique establishment that offers a delightful experience to visitors.

A General Store With a Twist

A General Store With a Twist

The French Co. Grocer is not your typical grocery store. While it only has four aisles, stepping inside feels like entering a world of culinary wonders. From fresh produce to hiking equipment, the store offers a diverse range of products handpicked by owner Sam Stavinhoa. The store also has a small espresso machine, which has made a significant impact in Marathon, where access to quality espresso was limited.

Providing Fresh Produce

In a region where access to fresh produce is scarce, the French Co. Grocer has taken on the challenge of providing this essential item to the community. Stavinhoa upgraded the store’s refrigeration systems to ensure the availability of leafy greens and other perishable goods. This convenience saves locals from having to make long drives to larger grocery stores.

Fostering Community Impact

Fostering Community Impact

The store’s impact goes beyond its products. Stavinhoa actively organizes events and concerts, bringing the community together. Every Friday, the store hosts a burger night, inviting locals to enjoy delicious burgers made from real beef and homemade potato chips. These events create opportunities for people from different walks of life to connect and share moments in this unique space.

Fair Pricing and Ethical Business Practices

Although the store’s buying power may be small, Stavinhoa ensures that items are priced fairly, reflecting their true value. He doesn’t take a salary from the store, emphasizing that this venture is not driven by profit but by a genuine passion for creating a unique and meaningful space for the community.

Modern Artists Are Painting Classical Still-Life Works of Iconic Childhood Snacks

Food has long been given a realistic treatment on canvas. Several acclaimed painters like Chardin and Manet popularized the unique style of painting foods with oil paints, moody lighting, and thick brush strokes, ultimately creating dramatic vibes. But modern painters, who are following this specific line of artwork, are now gravitating toward subjects more relatable to their own lives. These new-age artists are painting contemporary snacks in the same century-old classical style.

The Modern Creations

Still-life painter Noah Verrier is one of such a handful of modern artists, who gives our beloved regular snacks a touch of timeless classic aura through his brushstrokes. Specialized in classic still-life paintings from the Florida State University, Verrier was heavily inspired by the works of Chardin and Manet, the celebrated 18th-19th century still-life artists. But with time, he got bored with capturing hams and fruits on canvas. Instead, he craved something more relevant to his mundane life. So, Verrier started to capture the deeply familiar foods like PB&J sandwiches, Chinese take-out boxes, cheeseburgers, and beloved snacks like Flaming Hot Cheetos, doughnuts, gummy bears, and many more.

A Touch of Nostalgia

There’s no argument that artists like Verrier are evoking a deep nostalgia for our childhood through their artworks. Thanks to them, today we can see enigmatic oil canvases with a chocolate-chip cookie on a lavender-shaded backdrop, a cinnamon bun with oozing icing, a box of Cheez-Its coquettishly standing on a blue tapestry, and others. Interestingly, all these paintings honor our childhood snacks with the same importance as serious still-life paintings. The uncanny juxtaposition between antique mediums and contemporary subjects has made the paintings somehow both fresh and bygone. There’s no surprise that all these artistic depictions of snacks have garnered attention and applause for their innate nostalgic characteristic with a timeless style of elevating the mundane.