My fat little fingers are having a tough time typing this morning, all due to a morning run that left them swollen and slightly numb. All thanks to Jenny Fab and her long-legged boyfriend who kicked my ass all the way down Ruston Way this fine, foggy day. So to warm them up, I decided to pay my friend Jay at Big Value Store on North Alder a visit. He always offers me a cup-o-joe and a huge smile when I need them both.
Big Value is like most neighborhood convenience stores but with a few very important exceptions. They offer good selection, great prices and exceptional customer service. I would like to see more items to fill the shelves, they certainly have the room, but they provide what they need to in order to satisfy their customers.
Jay caters to the neighborhood, which are mostly North End Tacoma folk and college students. He really enjoys the scholarly kids that visit his store because as he says, "They are polite. They call me sir and say thank you!" It's clear they like him too, by all the fraternity group photos that sit behind the front counter.
Soda, beer and wine are their big sellers at Big Value. No shock there. All the sodas are what's hip and happening, the wine selection is good, not spectacular, but it's the beer that holds my heart. Along with your basic yellow beer, you can pick up a six-pack of Stone, Scuttlebutt, Fish Tale, Acme, Anderson Valley or 22-ounce of Arrogant Bastard and Hales Mongoose IPA. This is much better than most convenience stores, and we all know how much college kids like their beer.
Once upon a time, there was a deli in the back that was profitable until the economy took a downturn. Sandwiches were only $4.99, so maybe he should have charged more. The deli counter and all the sinks are still there. Could be a good opportunity for the right someone?
Don't miss the small display of Zots candy at the front counter. Do you remember Zots? They were like only my FAVORITE candy growing up! Tasty sour fruit flavored hard candy on the outside with powder on the inside that fizzes when it mixes with your spit. There's got to be a better way to say that, but I can't think of it.
Did you know a carton of smokes is $70 bucks? Holy crap. I had no idea because I don't pay attention to such things. So glad I don't smoke. I have OTHER vices that need not be mentioned here, and if you comment, please remember a lady needs to reserve some mystery. ...
As I have said before, I wish my neighborhood had a store where I could stop in quickly to grab something minor on my way home, a cup of coffee on my way to work or just to get a friendly smile when I need one. A tasty craft beer after a long lope on the waterfront isn't too shabby either.
2501 N. Alder St., Tacoma