At Your Convenience



Shoppers on the go don’t spend much time cross-checking prices on Trident, Diet Coke and 40s of Old English. But



Shoppers on the go don’t spend much time cross-checking prices on Trident, Diet Coke and 40s of Old English. But someone should. FM presents an abbreviated guide to quick fixes in the neighborhood.

Survey caveats

Louie’s Superette is technically a mini-mart/convenience store, yes, but it was excluded from this survey because it’s really only good for buying things that come in packs of six or cases of 30.

Store24, we miss you.

Go anywhere for

Ben & Jerry’s.

Condoms (though CVS has by far the best selection).

Hours

C’est Bon: Sunday-Thursday 6am-12:30am, Friday-Saturday 6am-2:30am.

7-11: 24 hours a day.

Tommy’s Value: 8am-2am daily.

Celeris: 6pm-12am daily.

Who’s behind the counter?

C’est Bon: A business-savvy Lebanese man.

7-11: Cast of characters changes almost daily.

Tommy’s Value: Usually a questionably business-savvy Pakistani man or woman.

Celeris: The nicest people ever, honestly—late-night saints in the basement of Cabot.

Beverages

C’est Bon: Three walls are lined with drinks of all kinds ranging from SlimFast to Snapple to the up-and-coming mixer of choice—Twister—creating a beverage wonderland around the perimeter of the store. The bottled water selection, however, is disappointing.

7-11: Not quite the plethora of refreshment options one would expect, but all of the basic beverage needs are satisfied. Sometimes out of tonic water, though.

Tommy’s Value: Similar to its numerically named competition in the beverage category, except for the random empty refrigerator cases strategically placed around the store.

Celeris: Despite a lack of Snapple, selection is adequate, with an abundance of Nantucket Nectars.

Real beverages

C’est Bon: Although there were no alcoholic beverages in the store during FM’s visit, owners insisted that this would soon change. Beer and hard liquor were both scheduled to debut yesterday.

7-11: Beer, hard lemonade, 40s and wine ($5.99-$13.99).

Tommy’s Value: Just fruit juice.

Celeris: Not even a good selection of fruit juice.

ATM available?

C’est Bon: Yes.

7-11: Yes.

Tommy’s Value: No.

Celeris: No.

Number of types of energy bars on display

C’est Bon: Over 30.

7-11: 12.

Tommy’s Value: 11.

Celeris: 11.

Ice cream brands

C’est Bon: Ben & Jerry’s and a few cases full of bars, pops and other individual ice cream snacks.

7-11: Ben & Jerry’s and a case of assortments.

Tommy’s Value: Ben & Jerry’s—3 shelves of ice cream and ice cream bars.

Celeris: Ben & Jerry’s and a few bar selections.

How long has that stuff been on the shelf?

C’est Bon: Food is restocked on a daily basis.

7-11: Shipments come in about twice a week.

Tommy’s Value: Weekly deliveries.

Celeris: Although shipments allegedly arrive every day, shelves are frequently empty.

In a nutshell

C’est Bon: The euro convenience store, carrying exotic luxury items such as imported chocolates, crème yogurts and variety condoms (as opposed to the standard Trojans found in all four stores).

7-11: The all-American convenience store, offering a wide selection of junk food, snack food and junky snack food.

Tommy’s Value: The “ghetto” convenience store—unfairly nicknamed for its sparse interior and makeshift (stenciled) sign—actually contains most essentials, with all late-night staples present and accounted for.

Celeris: The consolation convenience store, for those a bit farther from the Square, is a cute alternative specializing in student-specific needs. Completely amenable to suggestions (see the huge comment card message board) and even has cute displays with giant M&M; characters.

‘Can’t find elsewhere’ perk

C’est Bon: Essential small appliances (phones, toasters, touch lights).

7-11: Slurpees.

Tommy’s Value: DVD rentals with no membership fee.

Celeris: BoardPlus payment.