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Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing Inc.
In the blog, Salad from a Gas Station? Sushi from a Truck Stop? This author raised a couple of questions, in addition to the actual questions, both of the questions may seem odd to us in 2018. There are two parts to inquire about within these questions. The first was getting food typically not found within these establishments and second is the common name of the establishments. For today’s blog, I will focus on the common naming of these establishments.
In some rural areas of America today, there are places of business that just serve gasoline and maybe vehicle lubricants and these were the true gas stations found in every town; however, today the gas station you may visit will carry grocery items, health and beauty items, health and junk foods, even bakery items, some fresh baked on site and some brought in by local bakeries. These establishments are called convenience stores or C-stores. They offer the consumer a small variety of items that a grocery store, bakery, or even a retail store may offer at a convenience from going to multiple places to get items needed.
Convenience stores usually charge significantly higher prices than conventional grocery stores or supermarkets, as convenience stores order smaller quantities of inventory at higher per-unit prices from wholesalers. However, convenience stores make up for this loss by having longer open hours, serving more locations, and having shorter cashier lines.1
Truck stops are similar in naming conventions. The traditional truck stop was a little more than a few diesel gas pumps and a large parking lot for truck drivers to stop and rest. Many years ago, the traditional truck stop might have had a locally owned diner attached or associated with it. Today, the word truck stop brings up a stereotype of large stations that are dirty and filled with truckers and a regular vehicle and its driver feel out of place. This is why the term Travel Center has replaced the term truck stop. Travel Centers are worded to make a place a business seem open, inviting, and clean for all drivers not matter what vehicle they come in with. Travel Centers are often right off the highways and interstates and have lower fuel prices than conveniences stores that are usually miles off the freeway and in town.
- Author Mark Sedenqist said it best,” I like the gas prices, but what I really like about truck stops is the retail stores. I love to walk the aisles and marvel at the array of merchandise on the shelves. Some of the automotive tools may look familiar, but few stores offer the following items all within 20 feet of each other: an audio tape on New Age mediation, a Browning knife, a Garmin fish finder, an aromatherapy reed diffuser, a genuine wood-grain noise-canceling CB mike, a Joan of Arc VHS tape, a 250-channel preprogrammed police scanner, a die-cast collectible fuel tanker, a metal detector, the complete “Seinfeld” series on DVD, a rocking chair, a deep-fat fryer, an excellent selection of women’s watches, cameras, the world’s largest assortment of beef jerky and other salty snacks, a DISH satellite “finder meter,” a cordless drill, a 12-volt ionizer and air purifier, several styles of small refrigerators, coffee makers, mugs, T-shirts, flashlights, electric blankets and the little gizmos that truckers use to lock their trailer doors.”2
As a consumer and a driver, you have a variety of choices available to you today when your parents, grandparents and even older generations of drivers did not have luxuries of buying anything other than fuel for their vehicles and had to go to another store to buy a meal before getting back on the road. You now have a clearer understanding of the new names for establishments that have been around for decades.
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