Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Gas stations and food


Recommended Posts

See if this helps you guess my age.

I remember when gas stations only sold GASOLINE. True, this was when attendants actually pumped the gas for you, but you never thought of topping off the tank and filling the fridge at the same time.

Try and find a gas station now that doesn't sell food. Just tonight, I threw a sawbuck in the Fressermobile's tank and wandered inside the gas station kiosk. A phalanx of coffee dispensers stood along the window, while an entire dairy case with milk, cheese and premade sandwiches sat along the wall. Factor in the racks of pretzels and candy bars, and you have two aisles of a grocery store where, once upon a time, you bought gas and nothing else.

In fact, here's a motto for them: Fill your tank, fill your tummy!

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
See if this helps you guess my age.

I would guess 50 years + to remember a time when gas stations sold gasoline and attendants filled the tank. Now they are trained to ask you if you would like anything else to fill your tummy.

"Some ladies smoke too much and some ladies drink too much and some ladies pray too much, but all ladies think that they weigh too much."

From a poem by Ogden Nash - Curl Up and Diet

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember gas stations like that.

And I remember orange Nehi in glass bottles, and you had to drink the soda before you left the station, because there was a deposit on the bottle.

The soda was a nickle or a dime, and was heavenly, so sweet and cold.

Of course, the fact that we had just driven hours in 90 degree weather with no air conditioning might have helped that soda taste so good.

I was born in 1954 and I am 39 years old.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Edited by sparrowgrass (log)
sparrowgrass
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone...long time lurker, first time poster! Nice to come out and talk to everyone!

There are parts here in the more rural (sp?) areas of Oklahoma that are still just stop for gas and thats it kind of stations. But I remember gas stations like that were common place. I was shocked to see some gas stations now have these mini-deep fried eveything kitchens. I didn't think anyone ate at them, but they are still in business so I guess they do. I think its a statement of our convenience driven society.

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

Link to post
Share on other sites

My first husband loved the deep fried stuff that could be had at one of our local gas stations. He called it Greaseworld, and it included things like poppers, fried chicken, potato logs, burritos, and apple fritters. I could never see the appeal, but he loved it. I'm sure that had nothing to do with the fact that he had his first heart attack at 38.

My husband now makes a lot of trips to the closest convenience store, which is, unfortunately, right out our back gate. Ciggies, donuts, beer--it's a virtual man paradise. I rarely stop there, because there's just nothing there that I want except for gas.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no kiddle, and on US1 in Miami there is a gas station that has sold freshly fried chicken for my entire driving life, which is, basically, forever. The present owners are Indian, and they have expanded to sell many interesting items, but the freshly fried chicken remains. :cool:

More Than Salt

Visit Our Cape Coop Blog

Cure Cutaneous Lymphoma

Join the DarkSide---------------------------> DarkSide Member #006-03-09-06

Link to post
Share on other sites
See if this helps you guess my age.

I remember when gas stations only sold GASOLINE.  True, this was when attendants actually pumped the gas for you, but you never thought of topping off the tank and filling the fridge at the same time.

Try and find a gas station now that doesn't sell food.  Just tonight, I threw a sawbuck in the Fressermobile's tank and wandered inside the gas station kiosk.  A phalanx of coffee dispensers stood along the window, while an entire dairy case with milk, cheese and premade sandwiches sat along the wall.  Factor in the racks of pretzels and candy bars, and you have two aisles of a grocery store where, once upon a time, you bought gas and nothing else.

In fact, here's a motto for them:  Fill your tank, fill your tummy!

Reminds me of a sign I saw in the 60's near Woodstock NY. "Eat here get gas" We did.

I read that the % of profit on gas is tiny. The money is made on the junk food, these days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most gast stations these days are making a penny a gallon on the gas they sell. When the customer uses a credit card to pay, that effetively negates any profit on the sale. In order to stay in business, the gas station is now a convenience store and all the profits are reaped from the inside sales not on gas.

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites

On the northwest corner of the Rock Creek/Grantsburg exit off I35, between Northern Minnesota and the Twin Cities, there's a service station I've always called "Cecils".

Back when I drove a (not new) 67 Plymouth GTX, I had to plan on at least one pit stop along the 200 mile route to add a quart of oil and fill the tank with (leaded) premium. Being located about two-thirds of distance when going South, I would generally stop there on both the way down and back.

It used to be a typical small gas station, with a garage stall on one end where Cecil, (at least that was what the name tag on his mechanic's coveralls said), would be working on an old car/truck/tractor. Right next door was a small roadside cafe that was popular with both locals and truck drivers. I had homemade soup and pie there a few times, and both were pretty good.

Cecil's claim to fame was his practice of keeping his chocolate candy, (and Copenhagen snuff), in the pop cooler. Since few over the road truckers had air conditioning back then, they appreciated this, and it built up trade for both the fuel and cafe businesses. Personally, I like cold M&M's, and would always buy a bag during the summer months.

Today it's a BP self-service station/convenience store. I try and stop there at least once per round trip these days, since my car likes the BP Gold, (unleaded) premium gas. If I'm heading back up North I'll usually get a can of pop and some (room temperature) candy too.

The cafe is now attached and expanded into a family-style restaurant. I've never eaten there, but judging from the parking lot it's still popular with truckers.

I've inquired at the store, but other than me nobody seems to remember Cecil, if that really was his name.

SB (will leave a copy of this story off next time I stop there) :cool:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Most gast stations these days are making a penny a gallon on the gas they sell. When the customer uses a credit card to pay, that effetively negates any profit on the sale. In order to stay in business, the gas station is now a convenience store and all the profits are reaped from the inside sales not on gas.

Dan

I don't know where you got your info, but that just isnt true. They make much more than a penny per gallon...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have plenty of gas-only stations here in Jersey. Some even have attendants that wash your windows while the tank is filling!

And yes, I'm at least as old as you are, so I know what you're talking about. There are towns here just 8 miles from NYC where things haven't changed much in 50 years (apart from the prices, of course).

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh. I can show you one that still does. And has a big sign outside advertising "Beer, Shotguns, and Wedding Dresses."

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Link to post
Share on other sites
Most gast stations these days are making a penny a gallon on the gas they sell. When the customer uses a credit card to pay, that effetively negates any profit on the sale. In order to stay in business, the gas station is now a convenience store and all the profits are reaped from the inside sales not on gas.

Dan

I don't know where you got your info, but that just isnt true. They make much more than a penny per gallon...

Gasoline pricing is very complicated. The station owner adds 2-10 cents per gallon, depending on several factors, one of which is the anticipated replacement cost.

Of this 2-10 cent markup, around .2-1.5 cents/gallon would be the station owners profit.

SB (wanna buy a gas station?)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Most gast stations these days are making a penny a gallon on the gas they sell. When the customer uses a credit card to pay, that effetively negates any profit on the sale. In order to stay in business, the gas station is now a convenience store and all the profits are reaped from the inside sales not on gas.

Dan

I don't know where you got your info, but that just isnt true. They make much more than a penny per gallon...

Gasoline pricing is very complicated. The station owner adds 2-10 cents per gallon, depending on several factors, one of which is the anticipated replacement cost.

Of this 2-10 cent markup, around .2-1.5 cents/gallon would be the station owners profit.

SB (wanna buy a gas station?)

As pointed out before, people often put their gas on credits cards which can cost the storeower a few percent of the sale (depending on their volume). It's no wonder they want customers to pick up a fountain soda or a cup of coffee, as their profit margin on these items must be much higher.

But gas stations that don't sell food still exist. There are two where I used to live (and still visit regularly) in the rural Midwest that don't sell anything besides gas. They make most of their money doing repair work, the gas is more of a convenience so that people don't have to drive 20 miles or more to fill their tanks.

Tammy Olson aka "TPO"

The Practical Pantry

Link to post
Share on other sites
Most gast stations these days are making a penny a gallon on the gas they sell. When the customer uses a credit card to pay, that effetively negates any profit on the sale. In order to stay in business, the gas station is now a convenience store and all the profits are reaped from the inside sales not on gas.

Dan

I don't know where you got your info, but that just isnt true. They make much more than a penny per gallon...

Actually, I heard it on that bastion of honest to goodness journalism NPR. How could I ever mistrust them?

Dan

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello everyone...long time lurker, first time poster! Nice to come out and talk to everyone! 

There are parts here in the more rural (sp?) areas of Oklahoma that are still just stop for gas and thats it kind of stations. But I remember gas stations like that were common place. I was shocked to see some gas stations now have these mini-deep fried eveything kitchens. I didn't think anyone ate at them, but they are still in business so I guess they do. I think  its a statement of our convenience driven society.

Hi, CKat! Welcome to egullet! Enjoy the craziness here! Everyone is very welcoming and helpful!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Covering the waterfront, so to speak...

Remember when they were called service stations? I remember when just about every gas station did repair work. These have all but disappeared, but a few survive: one such station is still in business at 10th Street and Washington Avenue.

And we have come full circle from Holly Moore's reminiscence too. We don't call them general stores any more, though: Around here, we call these places Wawa. In Central Pennsylvania, they're called Sheetz. In my hometown, QuikTrip. The generic term is "convenience store," and yes, the gas station and the C-store have become increasingly indistinguishable from each other.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

here's a good place to start with something besides gas. check out post #3

See if this helps you guess my age.

I remember when gas stations only sold GASOLINE.  True, this was when attendants actually pumped the gas for you, but you never thought of topping off the tank and filling the fridge at the same time.

Try and find a gas station now that doesn't sell food.  Just tonight, I threw a sawbuck in the Fressermobile's tank and wandered inside the gas station kiosk.  A phalanx of coffee dispensers stood along the window, while an entire dairy case with milk, cheese and premade sandwiches sat along the wall.  Factor in the racks of pretzels and candy bars, and you have two aisles of a grocery store where, once upon a time, you bought gas and nothing else.

In fact, here's a motto for them:  Fill your tank, fill your tummy!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't own a car, but on the few occasions that we rent one, there is a gas station that we use that sells--at the most--candy bar and chips. It also has the cheapest gas around. Coincidence? :hmmm:

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Link to post
Share on other sites

Recall that when they were called "service stations", cars definitely didn't have the long lives that modern cars have. Cars from that era have more in common with a push lawn mower motor than modern, fuel-injected, cup-holder laden comfo-cages.

Also, with the proliferation of modern communications and debit cards, I'm relatively certain that most gas stations have priced their fuel accordingly. There's something about losing money that is frowned upon.

But, they'll never turn down someone purchasing a $1.79 bladder-burster soda that gives them upwards of $1.50 profit. Ditto with the car washes.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 30s and 40s my grandfather had a service station/garage. He sold Gilmore gas and the gas had to be pumped by hand into the glass tanks.

He also had a soda cooler, candy bars and peanuts, lemonade, and bread for sale. More as a convenience to his clients than making a profit. He always was ahead of his time.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...