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One day I had a hankering for some Flaming Hot Cheetos and a pair of hotter-than-hot Gucci Dunks. Another day I had to pick up some flu medicine for my sick grandma, and some sick Vans Vaults. Just last week I was in the mood for some Dr. Pepper and a Dr. Romanelli jacket. Luckily, I live in Boston, so I can go to one store and get all my needs covered!

Yup, Bodega, the newest, hottest sneaker spot in Boston, puts the convenient back in convenience store, the bodacious back in Bodega and the coolness back in Beantown. All you see are stacks of detergent, candy, Goya beans and even toilet paper to woo you in on your way home. But those of us in the know get sucked in by the secret trapdoor backroom sneaker store!

If you’re as much a fashionista as a sneaker head, you won’t be disappointed either. You can pick up a quintessential eighties Nike windbreaker (purple, aqua and white, of course), a spanking new Claw$ bag or the latest Mishka t-shirt. If all of that starts to quicken your pulse and even make you sweat, just stock up on your favorite deodorant from the store up front!

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To make things even better, the staff and owners here are much more like your friendly neighborhood Bodega owners and much less like the stuffy know-it-all sneaker store owners that love to hate us. You got Dan, recently of futureclassic.net, Oliver Mak, who brings local knowledge of the graff and bboy scenes, and Jay Gordon, who comes with advertising, manufacturing and radio know-how. How do they work together? Oliver describes it this way, “We can each hammer nails, handle the business & swat the flies… Each of us has diverse backgrounds, and we’re pretty much jacks of all trades. [Note: Jay says he's a jackass-of-all-trades.] We’ve been professional gamblers, gigolos, vandals, supervillains, landscapers, and much more. What’s important is that we care about what we do in every capacity and are willing to do what it takes to create true quality.” This includes attention to details as diverse as polishing the beautiful dark wood sneaker cabinets in back and adding dust to instantly-old posters up front.

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As Oliver explains, “Humor comes out in much of what we do, but that does not preclude being serious. I also think we’ve raised the bar in terms of shop design. I’d love for us to be remembered as making things of fine quality and creating wonder and a touch of magic.” Now that’s about as refreshing as a pineapple soda!

I think I’ll get one…

:: Lori Lobenstine

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