Reports of small business owner motivations for participation in health promotion interventions are rarely reported in the literature, particularly in relation to healthy eating interventions. This study explicates and defines the development of healthy corner stores as community-based enterprises (CBEs) within eight low-income, suburban communities. CBEs are defined as community-oriented small businesses with a common goal to improve population health. The corner stores assessed in this study were participants in Healthy HotSpot (HH), a corner store initiative of the Cook County Department of Public Health. To determine store alignment with the CBE construct, a case study design was used for qualitative inquiry. Participant narratives from store owners (n = 21), community-based organizations (CBOs; n = 8) and consumer focus groups (n = 51) were analyzed using an iterative process to determine how store owners aligned with the CBE construct, and how this influenced continuation of health promotion activities. Several key factors influenced the strength of store owners’ alignment with the CBE construct. They included the following: (a) shared ethno-cultural identities and residential area as consumers; (b) positive, trustworthy relationships with consumers; (c) store owners valuing and prioritizing community health, often over profits; and (d) collaboration with a highly engaged CBO in the HH project. Results can assist in theory development and intervention design in working with corner store owners, and other small business owners, as health promotion agents to improve and sustain health outcomes and help ensure the economic vitality of low-income communities.