Local business owner opens second location downtown

Terrell Harris is the owner of the Downtown Bodega loacted on West 6th Street downtown.

Local business owner opens second location downtown
July 18
00:20 2019

The downtown business community welcomed a new member last week when Terrell Harris opened the Downtown Bodega.

Located at 140 W. 6th Street, along with snacks and quick grabs, the convenience store also carries kitchen staples like eggs, bread, milk, fresh fruit and vegetables. The Downtown Bodega is also the place to go to find products by several local entrepreneurs, several of which have been featured in The Chronicle, including Rosie Bloom’s Collard Greens, DJ’s Cheesecake, and C’Nella Alkaline Water.

Harris said with the development downtown, there was a need for a store that offered the staples. Harris, who is a native of New York and also owns the Cherry Street Mini Mart, said that after talking to a friend who also owns a business downtown, he decided to take a leap of faith.

“I was in the area looking around one day and my friend who owned this when it was Sweet Aromaz Coffee Shop told me he was moving and suggested that I open a store in the location,” continued Harris. “He told me there wouldn’t be any competition for the items I carry like eggs, milk, bread, just the basic groceries. There’s nothing really in the Arts District that carries those items, so I figured I would bring that and give the people downtown more options.”

While it may seem like the Downtown Bodega appeared overnight, Harris said it took a long, hard ten months to get the store up and running. He said despite having to face several obstacles along the way, including having a business partner back out, he continued working toward his goal.

“It was hard at first trying to pay an extra rent that dropped out the sky, then still have the budget to pay for renovations, but it was a blessing – it was like stuff just started happening and falling into place,” said Harris. “My landlord Mike Coe has been wonderful helping out. He was really instrumental for me staying in this spot because a few times I thought about letting it go. I even tried to sell it, but nothing came through; it was like it was meant for me.“

Now with the bodega up and running, Harris is already looking toward the future. Next month he is looking to start a delivery service and in the near future a wine market and a farmers market.

Harris said he wants the bodega to give customers that New York feel with a twist.

“Right now we’re just working on stocking up our inventory. You know when you walk into a bodega in New York, every square inch is covered with product,” he said. “I wanted to give it that vibe, but with an upscale look.” 

When asked what advice he would give to a future entrepreneur or business owner to take that leap of faith and follow their dream, Harris said he would tell them there are no easy roads.

“You have to be willing to commit. At times it’s going to feel like everything is crumbling around you, but you can’t quit. Don’t ever quit. You have to be willing to go get it and there’s no easy roads. It’s no easy roads to success,” Harris said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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