As silly as it might seem, we all have a convenience store chain that we love because of the memories we've made going there.

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Whenever we visit the Philadelphia area, my husband insists that we stop at WaWa because he grew up with the chain and is loyal to its hoagies and pretzels. For me, the convenience store that holds my heart is Stewart's Shops.

I grew up in the Albany area where it seems as though there's a Stewarts on every corner. I love their buttered hard rolls and chili so much that one of my sisters was able to talk an employee into giving her an industrial-sized container of their chili for me. I'm pretty sure it wasn't supposed to be for retail. I say that I can't drive by a Stewarts and not stop in for a cup, even if I'm not hungry. It's what I grew up with and it feels like a taste of home.

And now, that taste of home is spreading like a vine even further into the Southern Tier.

In a press release sent to Townsquare Media Binghamton on Monday, June 7, Blueox Energy announced the company has, with "bittersweet emotions" sold its Blueox Neighborhood Market convenience store chain to Stewart’s Shops, a company which is based in the Saratoga, New York area.

For over 35 years, Blueox Energy's stores (both Nice-N-Easy and Big Blue Convenience Stores), have served several rural communities in upstate New York and will do so until September of 2021 when Stewart’s Shops will take over.

Blueox says that it simply cannot compete in the convenience store industry anymore and that although it is selling its convenience stores, the company will continue to operate "their growing energy business, delivering fuel oil, kerosene, and propane and will continue to service and replace energy equipment including furnaces, boilers, and hot water heaters.

The Southern Tier/Central New York area stores that are part of the sale include:

    • 4823 NY-23, Norwich, NY 13815
    • 2116, 2473 NY-12B, Hamilton, NY 13346
    • 36 N Canal St., Oxford, NY 13830
    • 336 NY-8, Bridgewater, NY 13313
    • 1321 Dryden Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
    • 1719 NY-8, Mount Upton, NY 13809
    • 95 Main St., Fort Plain, NY 13339

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