QuikTrip: In a Class By Itself

On my way home from Charlotte on Wednesday, I was looking to stop to get gas sometime before crossing into Georgia because I recall gas being much cheaper on the South Carolina side as I was heading north.  I made the mistake of stopping early and paying 20 cents extra.  I wasn’t going to do that again.  As I was passing through Greenville, I saw a sign for a Pilot that had $3.05 gasoline at exit 35.  I moved over to the right lane and prepared to get off the highway in a couple miles.  But then I saw a sign for a QuikTrip (QT) that was 14 miles ahead and had the same price gas.  I decided to wait.  I wasn’t low on gas (had about half a tank) and didn’t have to go to the bathroom just yet either.  In my mind, going to a QT was well worth the wait.

QT’s are simply the best convenience stores out there.  They are always clean and the employees are speed demons on the register, so there’s rarely a line even when there are lots of people in the store.  But this store in Anderson, SC took things to a whole new level.  As I walked to the restroom, I saw wall after wall of drink machines: coffee, brewed tea, non-carbonated, smoothies, Freezonis, etc..  It was so well organized.  I opted to go for a orange creme Freezoni, but I only wanted a small one. I should have gotten the kiddie cup.  The next size up is about 20oz, and it was $1.09.  The 32oz was $0.99.  If there is one thing I am not fond of it is when they price the bigger sizes cheaper. I went ahead and got the 32oz, but swore I would not drink the whole thing (I didn’t, but I downed at least half for about 250 calories).  
The thing that intrigued me most on the visit was they advertised soft pretzels. If there is one thing I love, it’s a good soft pretzel.  They were $2.49, much like what we charged back in the day at Pretzel Time.  So does that mean they are made fresh?  You betcha.  You order from a touch screen.  They offered 3 choices: classic, parmesan, and cinnamon.  I chose parmesan.  To my surprise, there was no extra charge for this.  Nor was there a charge for marinara sauce.  It took them about 2-3 minutes to prepare it behind a custom counter that also served special coffees.  Frankly, it was one of the best pretzels I have had in years.  Big, fluffy, and airy.  Awesome.  I only wish I hadn’t been trying to drive as I ate it.

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