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Not your average dep, Montreal convenience stores offer healthy options

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Forget about sugar-filled chocolate bars and over-salted bags of chips, a new Montreal convenience store offers more health-conscious options and is now open in multiple locations across the city.

The people behind Kalemart 24 hope to make healthy eating accessible by offering a selection of healthy options

"We've been working very hard to make sure that the concept is not just like any convenience store," said Kalemart 24 founder Oussama "Sam" Saoudi.

The first location opened in March at the Berri -UQAM metro station and the second one at Jarry Metro in March.

A third location will open soon near the Bell Centre in Montreal's downtown core.

"I think we need to see more of this type of concept because it's important to see more healthy options in the market," said customer Theirry Lorfils.

Saoudi hopes to redefine the concept of health options by keeping things local.

"We're from Montreal, [and] we wanted to support local companies, whether they're from Montreal or Quebec, so we took that into account," he said.

The stores stocks salads from Mandy's, Aux Vivres vegan bowls and other local products.

"It's convenient for me when I come, I'm already in the metro, [so] it's great," said customer Kevin McLean. "I love the idea of having these kinds of things available because you won't find these in IGAs or Loblaws, whatever, you might find one or two of them but to have a whole this kind of variety is quite good."

While the organic food costs can scare away some customers, Saoudi said the store's pricing points are competitive.

"KaleMart24 is going to be the next Couche-Tard," he said. "It's going to replace the classic convenience stores that you see around because the next generation - millennials, Gen Zs - are really looking for the products, for the type of products we carry."

Saoudi has plans to open more stores, including near McGill University and in Gatineau with plans to expand across the country. 

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