Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One Stop Mini Mart: Dangerous Convenience

I am addicted to condensed milk.

It started innocuously enough with the Vietnamese coffee that I would make myself in the morning. Then it made its way into my tea when I didn't have whole milk on hand. Then, about two weeks ago, I treated myself to a favorite childhood snack: condensed milk on toast. I think that was my downfall; next thing I knew, I found myself drizzling the sticky sweetness over bananas, mangoes, oatmeal-- my fingers.

For better or worse, I can easily replenish my supply even though the nearest supermarket is about two miles away, a Ralphs at 9th & Flower (the first to open in Downtown in over fifty years). The One Stop Mini Mart downstairs has not only my beloved condensed milk, but a variety of other pantry staples like canned beans, rice, onions, not to mention the array of random necessities like toilet paper, safety pins, and bleach.

The owner is a friendly man named Felipe who affectionately exclaims "Mirinda!" when I walk in. (He knows my name but is thoroughly amused by its similarity to the name of a soft drink popular in Mexico, which I encountered for the first time, thanks to Coca-Colonization, in Cambodia.)

I still trek over to Ralphs to get ground coffee (One Stop only has Folgers and Nescafe, unfortunately), but I try to give as much business as possible over to Felipe. He's only been in business at this location for about eight or nine months, and he is still waiting on his permit to sell dairy. I can't wait until I can buy eggs and milk from him.

One Stop Mini Mart
1835 S. Main. St.

Walk downstairs, exit front door, turn right, walk about 12 yards.

Cost Summary:
Condensed Milk: $1.79

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