She and her co-workers had been hoping a convenience-type store would join the retail mix at Eddy Street Commons near the University of Notre Dame.
The new, 24-hour 7-Eleven opened its doors Monday on Eddy Street, surrounded by locally owned and national restaurants and stores, residences and offices.
Crisp, clean and bright are adjectives shoppers are using to describe this 7-Eleven, compared to some of the older, tired stores that have been operating for 20 or more years in the region.
This is the first new 7-Eleven to open in South Bend-Mishawaka in several years. The company has been adding locations near colleges, in airports and in office buildings.
"We are trying to change the perception because we're not the old-style 7-Eleven anymore," says Margaret Chabris, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based company.
The Eddy Street Commons store is expected to cater to employees and residents as much as it will serve local students looking for late-night snacks.
As you look around, it feels like a mini-grocery.
7-Eleven carries such staples as eggs, bread, flour and sugar, some canned goods, paper products and even dog food.
Aspirin and toothbrushes are stocked in the health and beauty area, and cigarettes and tobacco products rest behind the register. There's also beer on the shelves and wine in the cooler. Indiana law permits cold beer sales only at package liquor stores.
"We knew we'd become a destination for groceries for employees and students in the area since the nearest grocery store is Martin's," Pierce said about the full-service grocer. "I think the students are still finding out we're even here and open."
7-Eleven also added its new hot foods program in the Eddy Street store. This features fresh pizza, chicken wings and tenders, breakfast sandwiches, hash browns, and egg rolls in addition to more traditional cold sandwiches, salads and fruit cups.
And of course, there's plenty of coffee including new rotating flavors.
"Give us a few weeks and we'll know what products are trending," Pierce says, noting how customers can request items be added. "We will listen to our guests as they come in and tell us what they're looking for and add what we can for them."
Veterans Day offers
Martin's Super Markets is among the many locally owned, regional and national chain stores, restaurants and businesses that are extending special offers on Sunday for U.S. veterans.
From car washes to dinner to doughnuts to fitness programs (call O'Brien Fitness Center about its special offer), a variety of businesses are extending these deals to veterans as a way of saying "thanks" for their service.
There are several websites and blogs that list some of the deals, including www.militarybenefits.info. Or call your favorite restaurant or store to find out whether they have a Veterans Day special.
Have you heard?
Blacktree Studio Pottery by Steven Skinner opened its doors last week at 111 W. Michigan St., downtown New Carlisle. The new shop offers wheel-thrown and sculpted stoneware and porcelain pottery. An open house is planned Nov. 17 and 18. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. ... Santa is expected to officially arrive with special activities from 3 to 8 p.m. today at University Park Mall in Mishawaka. ... A Light Parade starts at 6 p.m. Saturday in downtown Shipshewana. ... Join our next live chat at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Heidi Prescott's column runs in the South Bend Tribune on Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at email@example.com or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.