Famima – Convenience With Style

I encountered Famima several years ago when I was writing for a local publication.  It’s a new breed of convenience store out of Japan for people on the go who want better options.  At the time, I thought it was a great concept and loved my visit to the one out on Hollywood Blvd but that was the extent of my experience.

Recently, my routine has changed to involve regular trips out to LA Live.  As chance would have it, I walk right by a Famima located on Flower Street.  In the position of a consumer with a sophisticated sense of what I’d like while on the go, I have a new appreciation for the concept behind Famima.  It’s quickly becoming my savior during crazier days.

Famima is clean, brightly lit, stylish and easy to navigate.  What struck me once more is the variety.  I have an overwhelming number of choices.  I can have a freshly made Italian Panini, a curry chicken sandwich, sushi or one of three different kinds of Chinese steamy buns.  On a day when I’m lusting after chocolate therapy, I can grab some Godiva – something you cannot do at any other convenience store.

I’m passing up the corner store across the street from me now in lieu of Famima when I head out to LA Live.  If you travel by one during your day, I cannot recommend it enough for a quick gourmet lunch or to satisfy your more complicated cravings.  Convenience can have some style and still be affordable.

7 Replies to “Famima – Convenience With Style”

  1. Funny you should bring this up now. The first Famima in the U.S. opened near my home in West Hollywood a couple of years ago. And just a couple of weeks ago… it closed. Perhaps it was not the best place for a Famima, just around the corner from a 7-11 that had served the neighborhood for decades. Or maybe it was always meant as a “test case” to see what people bought and when they came. Or maybe Famima just isn’t doing as well as hoped.

  2. We’ve got about 1000 Famima’s in downtown LA with new ones opening daily. They always have fun 80s music playing and you can get some pretty tasty crap for free along with things you don’t need like candy and energy drinks.

    I also like that in downtown, where we have alot of homeless people the people who work at Famima are very respectful of them, giving them water and coffee. The Starbucks employees next door should take some lesssons in treating people with dignity even when they aren’t buying lessons from the people at Famima.

  3. My experience with Famima wasn’t that good. It was in the UK. We, the kids in particular didn’t like what they saw for “food” rather than snacky stuff. What food was there were tasty for my wife and I, but to feed the 5 it was pretty expensive. We actually had better luck at the Tesco express or M&S for quick food that we could take for picnics or just back to the hotel.

    Right now I’m still a fan of Fresh&Easy (Wet and Sleasy as we renamed it) because it is much cheaper and when you have a $5 or $6 coupon its the deal maker when you have a family.

  4. I go to the one at the Promenade sometimes. I do find it pricey though. Funny that it’s Japanese. I always thought it to be Italian. I guess it’s another Euro style product that the Japanese have learned to copy.

  5. I checked out the Famima in Torrance when it opened a year or two ago. I thought it would be cool, but it pales in comparison to the quick food and other goodies I can pick up at any of a dozen Japanese markets in the South Bay. The selection just seemed really boring and weak. Haven’t been back since, so maybe things have improved.

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