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ALTON, Ill. -- Hit-N-Run Food Stores, based here, is one of the top six convenience store chains in the country selling Pepsi-Cola fountain products, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The retailer's Bethalto, Ill., store ranks No. 1 and its Alton store No. 2 on Pepsi's c-store fountain list, according to Mike Garlick, vice president and general manager of Hit N Run Food Stores, which has branded its fountain drinks Hummdinger.
"We are so far above the next competitor," Garlick told the newspaper. "This area loves our fountain soda; it's a different recipe. That's what kept us going for 38 years. It's a different mix of corn syrup and water, CO2 water and syrup. We tweak it. We never compromise the flavor. A Hummdinger is a different type of experience."
Hit-N-Run merchandising manager Mark Hackworth created the Hummdinger in 1982. He told the newspaper customers don't buy fountain drinks anywhere else after they've had a Hummdinger.
A percentage of larger-cup soda sales goes to schools and community projects, such as the DARE program to educate young people about drugs and alcohol.
Garlick, who lives in Missouri, said people from out of town are surprised to see customers standing in line for a fountain soda. "It's a way of life around here," he said. "We have a solid core of customers who support us. We appreciate it."
People come in four or five times a day for a soda, he told the newspaper; some come in from offices and buy 10 at a time.
"It only costs a dollar to be happy -- a simple pleasure," he said.
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