HOUSTON — In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, two women wanted to help a Houston neighborhood stay afloat. Together, they created a unique space where you can spend a lot of time and a lot of cash – if you’re not careful!
"‘What a cute store!’ We hear that a lot," Courtney Blackmore, owner of Black's Bodega, told us. "We hear a lot of ‘What is this place?’"
An answer to that question really depends on who you ask.
"I was just trying to make a place I would go to," Blackmore said. "I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I was like, ‘Let’s give this a try.’"
So in 2017, she opened Black's in Houston's Warehouse District near downtown.
"The entire neighborhood is the hidden gem, you know?" Blackmore said. "It's one of the most unique neighborhoods in the entire city."
RELATED: HIDDEN GEM: Japhet Creek Park
With the help of operations manager Annie Gonzales, Blackmore created a gem within a gem.
"We’ve got a really fun vibe. It’s a homey vibe," Gonzales said. "We are the Target of convenience stores. We have a little bit of everything. You come in here for one thing and you leave with 20."
Black's has the standard convenience store fare -- snacks, sodas and essentials -- and so much more.
"Just a lot of fun retail," Blackmore said. "You can get a Def Leppard t-shirt and some Cheez-Its. Or a six-pack of beer and some cool enamel pins and a record."
Or keychains, incense, jewelry and guitar strings.
"This is the kind of place you kind of want to dig through and make sure you’re seeing everything because you will miss something," Gonzales said.
RELATED: HIDDEN GEM: notsuoH
Black's is also always adding new items based on customer requests.
"The neighborhood around here is really important to the store," Gonzales added.
And so the store has become a vital part of the neighborhood.
"Every day, we get to see the neighborhood through new and old eyes," Blackmore said. "It gives me a little bit of purpose."
RELATED: More Hidden Gems
To learn more about Black's Bodega, click here.