Oh Thank Heaven! for Our 7-11

This time last year, we were celebrating a wonderful milestone for the only black-owned 7-11 franchise in the Austin Metro area.

Just a year ago, Kimberly Eboreime and her husband, Ohiolei, were basking in the accomplishment of five years of ownership of the Round Rock store.

The couple has relished the opportunity they have had to create a family culture with the store staff.   “It’s been wonderful!” Eboreime gushed when she talked with soulciti to reflect on the journey. She’s also grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community.

I appreciate all the support

Since she opened the store, she has supported students at RRISD’s Success High School, the Black Student Union at Round Rock High School, Ballet Afrique, the women of Black Austin Mamas, and a range of local social and civic organizations. And the support has gone both ways.

Eboreime mentioned her gratitude for all the ways the community has shown up. “I appreciate all the support,” she stated as she reflected on the outpouring of support, including positive social media posts, likes, shares, and visits to the store.

7-11 Franchise Owners Kim and Ohiolei Eboreime

That support is even more appreciated in the wake of a few challenges that have arisen in the last few years. The city erected a traffic island on the Gattis School Road side that has impacted traffic to the store.

This and other challenges, including the unexpected arrival of another nationally recognized convenience store in the area combined to create an even more urgent call for the community to be intentional with its support. This season calls for a consumer base willing to drive a few extra miles, make the extra u-turn, and choose to purchase items that might otherwise be bought at another store.

And then, COVID-19 arrived.

The delay in specialty products like imported beer resulted in unpleasant wait times, and there was the added inconvenience of the requirement to stop selling all the hot “grab and go” items. Perhaps the most impactful was the way recreational travel came to a screeching halt, just as the warmer temperatures would typically bring carloads of travelers in search of snacks, beverages, ice, and gas. Despite the temptation to save by cutting store hours, she remained open 24 hours a day. “We have not closed one day,” she said proudly, crediting the amazing teamwork her staff has exhibited throughout the pandemic. “They are the true heroes.”

Being the visionary and creative problem solver she is, Eboreime is already making several moves that promise to position the franchise well for the future, and the silver lining is beginning to shine through.

Black Girl Magic Wine from McBride Sisters Winery.

Her location is emerging as the primary destination for the McBride Sisters’ wildly popular Black Girl Magic wine collection, and customers from as far as Manor are flocking in to stock up. Her first McBride in-store wine-tasting event on August 1st featuring the She Can Rose’ was a huge success. She completely sold out and gained new devoted customers. Kim is committed to stocking the various McBride wine products, as well as other black-owned products that customers will support. Here’s how you can support “our 7-11”

  • Make an in-store purchase; if you live outside the area, plan to fill up on gas and snacks!
  • ‘Like’ the store’s Facebook page and share with all your friends, family, social media groups, and organizations.
  • Message the store with your McBride Sisters wine order and any store/product suggestions.

Finally, if you are a local business owner who might benefit from some creative collaboration with a brick and mortar location, don’t be shy! Send a message through the store’s Facebook page and see if an opportunity exists.

Eboreime is actively looking for productive and mutually beneficial ways to partner with the local business community. “Together, we can continue doing great things.

The Eboreime’s 7-11 is located just two minutes off of IH35 in Round Rock at 1801 S. Mays – or call the store at (512) 244-9701. 

 

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