When Poppy Kitchen, co-owner of OMW (On My Way) Uptown Market was standing in a very long self-checkout line on her way home from work to purchase the lone avocado that she needed to complete dinner, a light bulb went on. She recognized that she would pay twice as much for the avocado if she could just get her time back that was spent waiting. She was frustrated with the lack of options for a ‘quick stop’ neighborhood market that could fill the gaps between major supermarket trips or to grab something quick.
So, she and her husband Will decided to do something about that and OMW Uptown Market was born.
The market opened its doors in March 2022, and today, they have four part-time employees. Stepping into the shop, customers will find a small, but curated selection of quality items –including many staples. Whether it’s a sandwich for lunch, a bottle of wine for dinner, a quick snack before practice, or a box of local chocolates for a hostess gift, the market is meant to be a space to get busy people on their way quickly.
“I chose this neighborhood because this is where I live and where I am a consumer,” Poppy said. “I moved back to Vancouver after living in Battle Ground for 20 years and found I had way fewer options for shopping unless I drove a significant distance. One of my favorite parts about being a very hands-on business owner in this neighborhood is getting to know the people in this community. It had been a while since I worked in a retail environment, but this experience has been nothing but rewarding.”
Poppy shares that she and her team regularly talk with customers to see if the market carries the types of products they’re looking for. She said, “We always encourage our customers to check with us if there is something they might need. We might not have the room to stock every spice or pantry staple, but often we have an ingredient in the back that just might save dinner.”
Looking ahead, Poppy says that as downtown Vancouver continues to grow, OMW Uptown Market will keep adapting to meet people’s needs. One way they are doing that is by adding more prepared food offerings to their lineup. While they didn’t set out to be a deli or bakery, they have brought in some of those items to better serve customers. They also host a monthly interactive food pairing event after hours that has been a fun way to attract new customers.
Poppy said, “I look forward to welcoming all the new neighbors as our uptown/downtown community continues to flourish with new development. We have had a strong foundation of regulars since the beginning, and we continue to grow as more people realize we are here and what we offer.”
OMW Uptown Market
207 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98663