"Finicky" means very hard to please. "Finick" means someone like me, who is very hard to please.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Improving watery hot chocolate at Cumberland Farms

Cumberland Farms is a chain of about 700 gas stations and convenience stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. The privately owned company started in 1938 in Cumberland, Rhode Island and is now based in MA. Annual sales are abut $16 billion. That's a lot.

The company has inexpensive gas and lots of inexpensive snacks. The "New Concept" stores are hyoooooooooooj, kind of mini-Disneylands, with much joy for serious munchers and slurpers. They're not as fancy as a Wegman's, but there is no Wegman's near me.

Every Saturday morning while my wife gets her hair done I fill my gas tank and part of my belly at Cumberland.

For several months my local CF has been offering any size coffee for just 99 cents. That seems like a good deal, but I don't like coffee.

Fortunately, the 99-cent deal applies to other hot beverages, including hot chocolate. My favorite hot chocolate comes from Dunkin' Donuts, and there is one right across the street from my local CF. However, a large HC from DD can cost nearly three bucks, and DD does not sell gasoline.

My first HC at CF was very disappointing: watery and weak.

Rather than abandon the company, I thought a bit and devised a strategy for the following week.

CF allows customers to squirt as much milk as they desire into their cups of hot drinks. So I squirted a couple of ounces into the bottom of my cup, then filled it with HC, stirred it and slurped. It was fine.

If Dunkin' Donuts earns an A for its HC, with added milk Cumberland's entry rises from a D to a B-plus. Starbucks is a C minus. Boo!

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