Urban Cubano: Bodegas (Pt. 1)

First of all I feel the need to credit a former client I used to train. Eric works in the entertainment industry and has a few years of experience on me (35 to my young and spry 24). When I mentioned that I had gone all of 2016 without writing anything, which really bothered me, it was his recommendation that I start a blog (more as a way to foster some creativity and get back into the habit of writing more than anything). And thus, here we are. Welcome.

The Bodega is a New York City phenomenon. This is not to say that other places do not have the occasional corner store, but in New York City, these places are everywhere. It’s to the point that going a couple of blocks without coming across one, is strange.

In my expert shopping experience I’ve noticed that these places seem to be run, almost exclusively, by immigrants. Which is incredibly impressive, at least in my eyes. Because I’m quite sure that opening one of these places is not cheap right? I mean most store rent in the city is at the very least $8,000 to $10,000. How does one get into the bodega business? Who do you talk to about opening a bodega? And why does it seem like all the best bodega places are all already taken.

A place named Gem Spa is right up the block from where I live. They are open 24/7 and sell everything from newspapers and cigarettes to orange juice and those little chocolate covered jelly rings up near the counter. Admittedly I am somewhat responsible for helping them stay in business as I have a rather aggressive addiction to Arizona Ice Tea and they have one of the best selections in the city.

*side note: if you have not yet tried the Arizona Lime Rickey your life will never be as truly happy as it could be

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