Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Top Entrepreneur

Gigi Rogers' concept for high-end convenience stores is catching on

"I would say I climbed Mount Everest in order to get my concept past the management that was in place. It was not an easy task." –Gigi Rogers, Rogers Market

Gigi Rogers was in interior design before opening Rogers Market.
Gigi Rogers was in interior design before opening Rogers Market.
Photo by Lori Sax
  • Manatee-Sarasota
  • Share


Being the single mother of a budding ballerina helped Gigi Rogers fuel her need for a high-end convenience store.

While taking her daughter between school and ballet, Rogers says she could not find a place where the girl could change into her outfit for practice in a clean bathroom.

“I wanted to create a one-stop place for really busy people,” Rogers says. She envisioned someplace people could put gas in the car, pick up food, get some flowers and a cup of coffee and use a nice bathroom. “It’s not an ingenious idea.”

That idea, Rogers Market, offers healthy options in a bright atmosphere. Food is prepared from scratch in a restaurant-style kitchen, plus there is a coffee bar with barista and pastry chef. Bathrooms are spacious and more akin to hotel bathrooms than those in a traditional convenience store. Rogers Market is “for every busy woman in the world,” Rogers says.

“We have so little time in our day to complete all the things that need to be done; I always feel like I have five minutes” between work and everything else, she says. “My life doesn’t allow me to stop at five or six different places to complete everything.”

The flagship Rogers Market opened in 2019 in Fort Myers, with the redesign of an existing Marathon gas station. 

Remodeling the store was a way to "take the idea of what Rogers Market was going to be like and see if it was palatable to the Florida culture, because it was a little progressive," Rogers says. "You stick your toe in the water to see how it's going to work, and we were very surprised by the reaction from everyone."

The concept caught on; now Rogers Market is in Sarasota, Manatee and Lee counties — and it's in expansion mode.

Overcoming obstacles

Rogers was no stranger to the industry. She grew up around convenience stores and gas stations; her father bought a wholesale fuel company called ATCO in the 1970s, and after they moved from Boca Raton to Sarasota, his business grew to 25 gas stations on the west coast of Florida.

Following a career as an interior designer in Los Angeles, Rogers returned to the Sarasota area in 2012 and became involved in upgrading the technology and design of the family's ATCO operations.

"I just wanted to bring it up to more current standards," Rogers says. "We were very far behind in our investment in technology," and she says she started adding "the food element."

Rogers encountered pushback when she first raised her ideas for refreshing the gas stations and convenience stores. 

“My ideas were rather foreign to the management that was in place then,” Rogers says. “I think they thought they were frivolous and expensive and not in keeping with the ‘c-store’ industry, so it was very difficult to get those things accomplished. I would say I climbed Mount Everest in order to get my concept past the management that was in place. It was not an easy task.”

New management is in place now.


Currently Rogers Market has about 140 employees and brings in about $150 million a year in revenue.

Most of the revenue comes from the gas and food in the store, she says.

“Inflation has been very unstable in our industry,” Rogers says, particularly related to gas prices. “Sometimes our margins are very healthy and within a matter of a week or two, our margins can be very low.”

Gigi Rogers speaks with customers inside Rogers Market.
Photo by Lori Sax

Gas stations Rogers operates do not have large contracts like Wawa, 7-Eleven or RaceTrac, she says, making her stations a “price follower" rather than a price leader. Fluctuation is the only constant. 

“The revenue fluctuates because the price of gasoline fluctuates in our industry,” Rogers says. “There doesn’t seem to be gas pricing that follows a consistent pattern.”

Biggest mistake

Rogers says what she regrets the most in starting and growing Rogers Market is “probably not following my gut instinct as soon as I was sure that I was correct.”

In cases “when there’s some fear of maybe rocking the boat or offending someone or trying to put all your ducks in a row before you put everything in place,” Rogers says, “I think sometimes we take too long to do what we know is the right to do.”

Tipping point

“I would say it’s gradual,” Rogers says of her success. “I was very sure that there were probably thousands of people — especially women like me — who had experienced the same thing: You’ve got a car full of kids playing soccer, somebody needs to go to the bathroom, you need to feed the kids, you want a place that’s clean and well lit and organized and the food is fresh and made from scratch. And I felt like there had to be other people who had the same needs that I did, so I was pretty sure that my idea was going to catch on in the market.”

While the first Rogers Market was under construction, she says one of the guys working on the port-o-potties stopped her to let her know he appreciated how aesthetically pleasing her store was.

Idea machine 

Rogers says she would "not switch jobs with anyone in the company because everyone else in the company has, I think, more responsibility and more time-sensitive responsibilities than I do. I don't have the capacity, to be honest, to do a lot of the people’s jobs in the company. They are all young, very tech savvy, they’re all specialized in their industries, whether it’s accounting, fuel analysis. … They’re all specialized.”

Rogers says she is more of a big-picture kind of person.

“Everybody in my office knows, please do not give Gigi any paperwork,” she says.

That said, she does care about every detail and every person in the company.

“Everybody is involved in our discussions in our meetings, and everybody’s opinion is valued,” Rogers says. “We listen to anybody. If our maintenance guy has a better way of doing something, I want to hear about it.”

Best advice 

Determination is key to being in business, Rogers says.

“You have to be virtually relentless in your pursuit of what you believe in,” she says.

“The obstacles I’ve had to overcome have been monumental, but I have never wavered; it’s only made me stronger,” Rogers says. “The more blockades you put in front of me, the more determined I become to overcome.”



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

Latest News


Special Offer: Only $1 Per Week For 1 Year!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.
Join thousands of executives who rely on us for insights spanning Tampa Bay to Naples.