After a prolonged period of site development and construction, Monkey Market, at 5111 Carolina Beach Road, is getting ready to open.
Owner Stephen Ohm expects to start serving customers within the next two weeks.
The nearly 3,000-square-foot drive-thru convenience store will offer the same inventory as a traditional convenience store, except for lottery tickets, said Ohm, who will operate Monkey Market with his wife, Brittni, who is also an eighth-grade special education teacher at Williston Middle School.
"We're not going to do lottery because the process is so slow," he said. "That might deter some customers, but others will say, 'All right! I can get my order faster.'"
The goal of the market, named for its proximity to Monkey Junction, is to serve customers quickly and conveniently, Ohm said. And, while people might associate a drive-thru operation with a beer store, Ohm said that Monkey Market will stock a complete line of beverages: soft drinks, Starbucks drinks, fruit drinks and coffee in addition to beer. Monkey Market will serve coffee from Hampstead-based Java Estates. The store will also offer all kinds of snacks, from soup to nuts – literally.
"Customers can get a quick meal, like chunky soup in a pop-top can," Ohm said.
Ohm and his employees will serve drive-thru customers, taking orders and payment without the need for customers to leave their cars.
The Ohms moved to Wilmington from Elon about two years ago and decided the time was right to pursue their dream of owning a drive-thru convenience store like the one they had patronized in their home town. After looking at other pieces of property in the Wilmington area, found the parcel on Carolina Beach Road.
"This just fell into place," Ohm said. "We got it rezoned; everything worked out."