Banana Box Market is a mecca for bargain-hunters who want to stretch dollars without compromising healthy living. Owner Scott Carden knew there were thousands of products that went to waste each month from typical grocery stores and was inspired to help the community. In December 2014, Scott, along with his wife Cathy, opened Banana Box Market, a bargain grocery outlet, in Spartanburg, South Carolina and business took off. The clean, bright grocery offers organic and local produce, healthy food and name brand products at a fraction of retail prices. Customers love the products offered and the Carden’s can focus their time on finding the best deals to keep them coming back.
These are prices you thought were long gone. Ten-cent banana peppers, 50-cent sauces and local produce and beauty goods at half their retail prices. Not only are the prices divine, but Banana Box Market carries garden-fresh produce, gluten-free breads and lots of healthy, organic choices. As a former merchandiser, Cathy knew the waste that occurs in stores across the country. Coupled with a desire to help those that are struggling and a rolodex of business contacts, Scott and Cathy spent a year figuring out how to bring Banana Box Market to life. Located at a former Dollar General location, they used Cathy’s merchandizing contacts to get the store started. They hand pick what they sell—from food to personal care goods—and often receive calls when new merchandise is available.
A single mother was shopping in Banana Box Market this year and approached Cathy to thank her—she had been saving as much as she had been spending. Plenty of people in Scott and Cathy’s community, and around the U.S., struggle to make ends meet. The Carden’s saw the struggle and utilized their network to create a store with the community’s most basic needs, plus natural and organic foods they may not have had access to otherwise. To keep prices low, they often handpick the merchandise and spend hours in the car driving from one warehouse to another instead of relying on a delivery service. Out of all the tasks that they do each day, one thing was for sure—they didn’t want to spend the remainder of their time crunching numbers and manually entering information into QuickBooks.