Tuesday, February 3, 2015

R is for Rhino Market & Deli

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Since opening just a few months ago, Rhino Market & Deli has experienced three major holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day — throwing owner Rob Rondolez quite the curve ball.

“If I would have opened in September, I would have had time to keep some steam going before all of the holidays fell on Thursdays, which was a negative for business,” Rondolez says. “There was two weeks where I didn’t even see my regulars.”

Rob Rondolez

Despite the holiday hootenannies, Rondolez, who has been working 60-hour workweeks perfecting the place, says Rhino is off to a good start. “It’s more about where we’re situated than it is about how we’re really different.”

Rhino is one of a few businesses, alongside Pinky’s, The Burger Company and Savor Café, to name a few, that cater to the Morehead Street community. Tapping this area of Camp Greene, Wesley Heights and Bryant Park was Rondolez’s main goal. “It’s a convenience for the neighborhood and the business corridor and its developing area,” he says.

Rhino is coyly named after the owner’s wife’s high school nickname and his 1-year-old daughter’s alphabet app.

Rondolez admits that the deli has been his favorite part of Rhino, and hopes to create daily sandwich specials that are not on the menu and only offered on a specific day, giving customers yet another reason to come in.

Despite the ever-growing, popular craft market scene in Charlotte, Rondolez says it’s the new thing — people want it, and he's got it.

Originally from Detroit, Rondolez wanted to bring the party store feel to Rhino, complete with a variety of convenience items, like coffee, chips, beer, cigarettes and more. Like Common Market, Rhino provides a relaxed atmosphere for a quick bite on the go or space to kick it.

Rondolez knows he isn’t the pioneer for this kind of business, but he does call it the new frontier. “The whole thing with being community driven and listening to your customers is the wave of the future.”

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