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Downtown. Drifting. Desperate.

Three buckeroos in my pocket and I’ve got nothing to take home to the beautiful Carla, and I promised I’d bring her a late nite snack. And I’ve got seven minutes till the bus.

Lawdie. I’m at 3rd and Broadway. Should I? Could I? Do I have any choice?

No. So I whip across Broadway to the, uh, 7-Eleven (1010 Second Avenue #100a at Broadway and Second, 619-237-9853).

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I know. Mighty chain, the kudzu grass of convenience stores. Where you go to get your Twinkie Bar Defense. But right now, when a man is so down on time and dinero, no choice.

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This is where I have my – what’s it called? “Any port in a storm” moment. I lunge into the hot dog section.

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“Quarter pound Big Bite, 100 percent beef, load it your way, $1.99.”

Or better: Big Bite regular, $1.39. Or even better: Big Bite x 2. Special. Two Big Bite regular dawgs, $2.29 .

Honestly, this is going to save my bacon.

Lotta late-nite people behind me champing at the bit, but the guy at the counter stays cool, puts on plastic surgery gloves and hauls out two buns, two boxes, two dogs from the heated roller section, and charges me $2.47, with tax.

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Deal.

Dee-yall!

I rush to the fixin’s section, (it looks pretty clean)...

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...and pile on chopped onion, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, and relish for me...

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Man. Here, I have me a meal.

Carla doesn’t like relish, but hers still looks pretty good.

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I haul out, over Broadway, and hey hey! Up rolls ye old Stretch Limo, right on time.

So, can’t resist googling 7-Eleven on the way home. Wow. World’s largest convenience store operator. Bigger than McDonald’s by 1,000 stores. Has 39,000 of them worldwide. Is - wow again! - Japanese-owned. Seven & I Holdings.

But it started in Dallas, Texas. A guy named Joe C. Thompson got the idea in the little ice house where he worked for the Southland Ice Company. Back in 1927.

He jes’ decided to start selling eggs, milk and bread. People liked it, because the ice all around kept them fresh. Long story short, a few years later, Joe ended up buying the ice company, called it Southland Corporation, opened up other ice’n eggs stores around Dallas, and called them 7-Eleven, because that was the hours they stayed open every day. Nobody else did in those days, seems.

’Course, by the sixties they were starting to stay open 24/7, but they kept the name.

In the eighties they were huge, got in financial trouble and ended up being bought out by their largest franchisee, Ito-Yokado, which formed Seven & I Holdings in the early ’90s.

I look in the li’l red box at my hot dog. Who knew the saga behind the dawg? Still giving off heat. They say it’s an Oscar Mayer. And when Carla and I open ’em up at home - maybe it’s the Whew! factor, like, walked away from another one, or the late night - but world’s largest corp. or not, these dawgs are deee-lish.

I’m starting to appreciate: You can’t beat convenience.

Comments
18

I remembered it being "Speedy-Mart" than "Speedy 7-Eleven" before becoming just 7-Eleven.

Dec. 1, 2011

Wow. I hadn't heard that. Was that here, or in Nevada?

Dec. 1, 2011

It was in San Diego, where the chain originated. It was founded in 1956 by Henry Boney, a city councilor at the time,and after whom Boney's Markets (now Henry's) was named. It was called Speedee Mart initially, and then Speedee 7-11, because those were the original hours of operation, which, at the time, gave them the edge over the competition, most of whom were closed by 9PM. He sold it in 1964 to Southland Corp/7-Eleven.

Dec. 2, 2011

Duhbya, thank you for that history lesson.

I had NO IDEA that 7-11 started here in San Diego by Hen ry Boney, or that the original names were Speedee Mart (reminds me of the Simpsons) then Speedee 7-11.

I did know the name was 7-11 because those were the hours-7AM until 11PM- up until the 1980's.

Remember, grocery stores used to close at 9 or 10PM back in the day. When I worked at Trader Joe's while attending SDSU the hours were 9-9.

Dec. 2, 2011

Only trouble with this is that, if you look up "7-Eleven" at Wikipedia (and yes, I know you shouldn't take that as gospel), it was Joe Thompson of Dallas, Texas, back in 1927, who started everything. Maybe they both came up with the "7-Eleven" name independently?

Dec. 2, 2011

I think we're both correct, technically. Check this link on the Boney family:

. http://tinyurl.com/d484zzf .

(You're welcome, Pup!)

Dec. 3, 2011

And I also need to amend my earlier statement that Boney had been a city councilor. He was actually a county supervisor.

Dec. 3, 2011

He also started Windmill Farms! When I grew up in Nor Cal we had a Windmill Farms just a mile away.

I like the name Speedee Mart....The sprouts history is also interesting, the Boney family has a knack for operating their niche stores and succeeding.

Dec. 3, 2011

But Henry's is now Sprouts Farmers Market.

Dec. 2, 2011

Sprouts?? So it went from Boneys to Henrys to Spouts???

That is a lot of name changing, not good for continuity....

Dec. 2, 2011

Ed, you got your dawgs early. They can be pretty dried out late in the evening after spending hours rolling on those stainless steel heaters.

This month (all of December 2011) Subway has a good deal going on… 6” meatball or cold-cut sub for $2.00 and I always get a free cookie because I always do their internet (customer satisfaction) survey, which takes about one minute to complete.

Dec. 2, 2011

Hey Ponzi: I can believe they'd dry out after rolling there a few hours. Wow. That Subway deal sounds great. And cookies for doing a survey? Must check that out. As my Scottish grandma used to say, many a mickle makes a muckle. Best, Ed

Dec. 2, 2011

Subway has been selling many of their sandwiches for $5 for the footlongs for sometime now, which is an awesome deal, in 1995 I was paying $5.50 for a 6 inch cold cut combo ( I think they call it the cold cut trio now).

Dec. 2, 2011

BTW-The BEST hotdog out there is the Hebrew National, Costco sells them for $1.50 with a drink.........

Dec. 2, 2011

Now that's a good deal. But do you have to join Costco first?

Dec. 4, 2011

Actually NO, you do not have to join Costco to get the east. The foodstands in MOST costco's are outside the front entrance, the few that are inside allow non-members to go to the food stands and eat because they are not within the secured section of the store.

It was actually Price Club that started selling the Hebrew National's at a buck a piece or a buck and a quarter if you wanted the drink, then they MADE you buy the drink with the hotdog, and of course now the price is $1.50

Dec. 5, 2011

Belated thanks, SurfPuppy. I must get on down and see how they compare with 7-Eleven, not to mention everybody else. Sounds like the price is unbeatable.

Dec. 8, 2011

Beware the Spicy Bites.

March 30, 2012

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