Little Cambridge Anecdote and Sad Update

The only supermarket I could get to easily without a car when I first moved back East was the rather whimsically named Purity Supreme. Our local branch was nicknamed “Poverty Supreme” because it seemed only the downtrodden of Central Square shopped there. (Ironically, the only new grocery outfit to open while we were in town was the marvelously named Bread & Circus, which started out granola-mad but soon became a higher-quality alternative to Poverty Supreme, when we could afford it — B&C later was acquired by Whole Foods.)

Purity Supreme was a good one-stop because it included Supreme Liquors, where I bought my first beers in MA. The state liquor store system in MT made them all into faceless dispensers, but Supreme Liquors boasted entertaining clientele and employees. It was a totally independent business that took the name for convenience of association — so when the supermarket disappeared, Supreme Liquors continued on. A few years ago, out of nostalgia, I stopped by to see what the place was like in the 21st century. What. A. Dump. Only the most basic and commercial offerings.

Then this morning, driving through Central Square, I noticed Supreme Liquors had decided to overtly cater to alcoholics: NEW STORE HOURS: MON-SAT OPEN AT 8 AM, SUN OPEN AT 10 AM. As a wise old drunk in Missoula once told me, “Nobody needs to buy booze at eight in the morning, but some people have to.”

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