Bodegas are a New York City staple. These small-owned convenience stores are like mini wonderland filled with colorful candy, delicious snacks, sweet drinks, and everything and anything you'll need to have a good time. You won't find an easier and more convenient place to find stuff. But because of various reasons, many are hesitant to go into one. They see it as dangerous and low-class, undeniably because of the type of people who usually run them, which are commonly people of color. If you push such prejudices aside, should you shop at bodegas in New York? The answer is yes, you should! And here are a few reasons why.
Support Small Businesses
As you might've noticed, most bodegas in New York are owned and run by people of color. From Latinx to those of Asian descent, most of these convenience stores are actually small businesses run by members of these ethnic communities. So when you buy anything from a bodega, you're actually contributing to their livelihood. Even something as small and simple as candy that costs ¢50.00, can still make a difference for the bodega owners. Sure, you can go to other more popular convenience stores, but at least, if you buy something at a bodega, you're also supporting a small business!
What separates bodegas from the likes of 7-Eleven, Wawa, and more? The former is more affordable. In bodegas, you can find sandwiches that cost less than $20.00, slices of cake that only cost $5.00, candies that only cost a couple of cents, and more. Although popular American convenience stores are also commonly affordable, the prices in bodegas are usually the cheapest you'll find. And in a city where living costs
are high, you'll want to buy food from the most affordable sources possible. They take convenience to a whole new level!
They're Open 24/7
Speaking of convenience, bodegas also stay open 24/7, perfectly suited for the 'city that never sleeps
.' Imagine waking up at 2:00 am in the morning and craving a sandwich. Unfortuantely, most stores would've already closed by that time. However, depending on where you are, you can easily spot a bodega that sells huge sandwiches for only $15.00 or under. That alone should tell you why you ought to buy from bodegas. They're easy, affordable, and always open. They won't even close when it's a national holiday
too! You won't find stores quite like them anywhere else!
They're Central to the Neighborhood
Are bodegas only in New York? Most likely. Are bodegas central to New York? Definitely! Bodegas aren't just ordinary convenience stores where you can buy a few snacks and be done with them. They actually serve as central pillars of the community. Locals know the owners, are friends with them, and even ask them for favors. You'll find that many locals within a neighborhood in New York
would commonly ask the bodega owner to keep a package, tell someone where they are, and more. If you continuously shop in bodegas, you can from this close relationship with the owner in no time too!
They Can Give You Advice
In relation to forming a relationship with bodega owners, you can also seek their advice, especially if you've just relocated to New York. More often than not, bodega owners have a lot of connections. Need a plumber to fix your drain pipe? Ask the bodega owner! Need an electrician to check out your TV? Ask the bodega owner! The items in the shop aren't the only 'convenience
' you'll find in a bodega. There's also a whole network of locals waiting for you. But as far as social customs
are concerned, you need to shop here regularly and form a close relationship with the bodega owner first!
Here in New York, there are fascinating convenience stores called Bodegas
, a one-stop shop full of snacks, drinks, and other necessities. Though they may seem strange at first, there are plenty of reasons why you should shop in one!