Our Local Mini-Mart Chain Makes Snickers Give You Free Candy Bars

Reason no. 21 to love Portland right now.

(CJ Monserrat)

Approach the register at any of the 109 Plaid Pantry stores across Portland, and it's like a tag sale at the Willy Wonka factory. Ghirardelli chocolates are three for a dollar, while "organic energy bars" might go for only a quarter. Meat sticks come in two-packs for a buck, and for a shiny 50-cent piece you can discover experimental flavors of Combos and Kettle Chips you're very sure should not exist.

The deals aren't overstock, and the candy is not out of date: It turns out Plaid puts its entire marketing budget into subsidizing impossibly good deals on weirdball junk food.

"We do no billboards, no radio ads, no television ads," says CEO Jonathan Polonsky. "Vendors have marketing money for stores. Snickers will have X amount of dollars, and they'll say, 'You're gonna partner with us. Can we pay for a radio spot?' We say no. We'd rather get it in markdown money."

In other cases, candy companies like Nestlé might have new types of candy they want to try out on an unsuspecting public: like maybe Twix eggs months before Easter. In they go to the Plaid bargain bin at 50 cents a king-size bar.

The deals come in at the first of every month, and the best deals are often gone fast to die-hard Plaid Pantry bargain hunters. "They call us up on the first of the month asking what deals there are," says Polonsky, "Last month, we gave away 10,000 free Snickers bars. We used coupons. They lasted three hours."

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9. Portland is the Playground of Japanese Architect Kengo Kuma

10. You Can Soon Stream Local Music at the Library

11. Oregon Just Became the First State to Defelonize Hard Drugs

12. East Portland is Getting an Aerial Tree Walk

13. We're the World Capital of Canned Wine

14. Portland is a Hotbed of Small Bookstores

15. Unlike any Other City, We Have Multiple Niche Comedy Festivals

16. Our Developers Are Privatizing Socialism

17. The Nation's Best Airport Keeps Getting Even Better

18. We're Home to the World's First Sneaker Design School

19. Portland Scored the World's First Dog Tap Room

20Weed Prices are Falling From Cheap to Damn Near Free, and We Haven't Yet Found the Bottom

21. Our Local Mini-Mart Chain Makes Snickers Give You Free Candy Bars

22. The View From the MAX Orange Line is One of the Most Striking and Beautiful Paintings in the City 

23. We Are Still No. 1 in Semifactual Superlatives

24. We Make Biking So Accessible

25. You Can Crowdfund Anything Here

26. We Find So Many Ways to be Anti-Trump

27. Our Malls Are Becoming Cultural Embassies

28. Our Humane Society Rescues Pets From All Over the Country 

29. Winter This Year is a Pussycat

30. No One Mourns Closures Like We Do

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