Every location of Penny Mart, a community convenience store and brand, is a “mini Costco,” CEO Jamil Malik said. Providing freshly prepared meals, grocery supplies, tobacco products, money transfer service, bill pay service, ATM service, Bitcoin cash machine service and more under one roof, Penny Mart is synonymous with reasonable prices, cleanliness and community.
“People feel good when they walk inside,” Malik said. “At Penny Mart, we believe in value and customer satisfaction.”
Malik, a resident of Frederick, recently earned the 2021 Entrepreneur of the Year in Retail Startup from Entrepreneur Small Business for his meteoric success. From small beginnings—Malik first bought the pennymart.com domain name seven years ago—he raised capital to open the first Hagerstown, Maryland, location in August 2020.
Now, the brand has spread to multiple states and is worth several million dollars. Currently the brand is remodeling its fifth location, with more locations in the works around the mid-Atlantic.
Malik credits the brand’s exponential growth to his business model. Penny Mart takes the community feel of mom-and-pop corner shops and combines that with the efficiency and value of a Seven-11. Customers can find a large variety of basic grocery items, automotive goods and personal and cleaning products, in addition to the typical snacks and beverages.
Penny Mart’s fully stocked deli provides meals made fresh and on site. A full menu of subs, wings, pizza, hot dogs, burgers and all-day breakfast is available at every location, using much of the same technology that makes Sheetz and Wawa popular food stops, according to Malik.
Another reason behind the brand’s success, Malik said, is the company’s willingness to open locations in untested neighborhoods. Penny Mart often thrives in communities that don’t already have walkable grocery stores, providing a needed service.
“We are more into the community service side of business,” Malik said.
“Penny Mart has benefitted the local communities a lot.”
Penny Mart works with existing corner stores to rebrand them into a Penny Mart location. No initial fees are needed, and the brand will manage wholesale deals and advertising for the owners.
Customers can also stay updated on the latest locations and deals by searching @realPennyMart on Facebook.
“Customer satisfaction defines our success, and for us success is the only option,” Malik said.
Ribbon cutting ceremony for Penny Mart in Hagerstown Sept. 1, 2021 with city officials, the mayor and councilmembers.