Norwood convenience store is popular for its chicken

A new gas station and convenience store in Norwood called Flash Mart opened in January with a primary focus on serving quality food.

The store, at 1004 N. Main St., employs cooks who prepare dishes from scratch each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flash Mart has already gained a reputation for being a go-to place for fried chicken, chicken gizzard and chicken liver, said owner Tedros Kebede, who also owns another convenience store in the town.

Other food items include breakfast sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, baked spaghetti, chicken alfredo and croaker sandwiches. Aside from daily chicken specials, each day also has a specific theme like Pasta Wednesdays and Fish Fridays.

Fried chicken breasts and thighs from Flash Mart in Norwood. 

And even though Flash Mart is a gas station, the good food is what drove Kebede to open in Norwood.

“We thought there was a need for fried chicken, livers and gizzards in this town,” Kebede said, adding that residents in Norwood often had to go to nearby cities, like Albemarle or Wadesboro, when they wanted quality chicken products.

While food sales have not surprisingly been strong, the business as a whole has struggled because of the coronavirus pandemic, especially since many people are still staying at home. He said the store’s customer volume has been cut in half since the first few months of the year.

He understands that with so much uncertainty, people are more reticent to go out and spend money.

Navigating a new business during the pandemic has been a “roller coaster” Kebede said, adding that his store is “feeling the effects of it now.”

While the $1,200 stimulus check the store received in April has helped it continue to stay afloat, Kebede hopes Congress can provide more funding for businesses like his in the near future.

But even though Flash Mart, like many other small businesses, has struggled to find its footing amidst the pandemic, “we still have our customer base that comes in because the quality of the food…people like the food,” he said.

While the Flash Mart is still new, Kebede said word of mouth has quickly spread which has helped the business weather the uncertainty that comes with the pandemic.

The store is open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Contact reporter Chris Miller at 704-982-2122.