In Lucky's Exotic Bodega Lady Gaga Oreos, Cheetos Mac'n'Cheese, Skittles drink and Walkers Prawn Cocktail chips all share shelf space, while supplies last.
The recently opened shop mixes the neighbourhood feel of a bodega with a snack selection dreamt up by someone who spent time in 7-11's around the world. T.J. (Tim) Voss started Lucky's with his business partner and longtime friend Sam Sabor; another childhood friend, Martin Sahami is the third part of the 'Bodega Boys.'
"The whole premise of our idea, the bodega, was to be somewhere in the community that everyone could come together," Voss says.
Lucky's has an eye-grabbing Instagram account that features some of the more bizarre, exotic or special items, including Simpsons Oreos, Pokemon cereal, and Funfetti Oreo pancake mix. Voss says the snack selection is the heart of the shop.
One of their first big sellers was a Reese's cupcake, Sahami says, and more recently a triple flavour insect dish went fast. Because many of the foods are coming from overseas, the shop has a constantly evolving selection.
"Larvae," Voss says. "So they came in three flavours, bbq, Mexican spice and cheddar cheese."
They also have several coolers stocked full of different pops and juices (including, occasionally Sprite Fiber+) and two big shelves filled with cereals that either mash-up two flavours or are a flavour unrelated to cereal (like Tim Horton's or Dunkaroos).
"What we specialize in is snacks from around the world," he says. "So America, UK, Asia, those are the three major places we get our snacks from."
Which explains why Walkers chips (a UK version of Lays) are everywhere, along with a lot of things that don't use the Latin alphabet.
"We've been waiting weeks and weeks and weeks for those UK chips that just came through," Voss says of a shelf of chips. The Skittles, Twix and Mars drinks (which are dairy-based) all come from the UK as well.
The exotic snack gig isn't easy, he adds, and requires late nights searching online and patience.
"Exotic snacks and drinks do command a certain price because of the duties, the shipping, the tariffs, and whatnot, but we try and keep everything as low as possible," he explains.
Quarantine is something else they've had to contend with he adds, which means some things have arrived after they've expired, never to hit the shelf. Patience is a big piece of the job.
"That's part of the game, that's part of the exotic snack game," he says.
Aside from the food, the store also carries a wide variety of Funko figures, including many uncommon ones (who knew Crash Bandicoot villains had a Vancouver fanbase?).
Then there's the Supreme clothing, along with some OVO and Travis Scott branded items. Oh, and an ever-changing selection of shoes.
For the trio, who are known as the Bodega Boys, Voss says, the shop is a passion project as much as a business. The trio, who all grew up in West Vancouver, met when they were young.
"We haven't had a day off in a little of time now, everyone works 12-15 hours a day," he says, adding that the cliche 'do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life' applies here.
That feeds into the chatty nature of the Voss and the others, who greet and thank everyone in the store. That's why they went with the bodega name as well, playing off the community nature of bodegas in the US.
"We wanted to create that whole vibe here in Vancouver," he says.
To that end, Voss says if anyone sees something on Instagram and are heading down that day, they should message ahead and they'll put it aside. FOr those wanting to visit, it's located at 2641 East Hastings.