Bert’s Market: The Best Convenience Store in the World


A Review of the Best Convenience Store in the World – Before They Went Upscale

I’d like to be modest and say I’m not sure if I’ll make it to heaven someday, but I can’t. I’ve already been to heaven. In fact, I stop by about three times a day, whether I need chili dogs, toilet paper or light bulbs. Heaven is at 202 E. Ashley Ave., on Folly Beach, and it’s marked by a wooden sign that reads, “Bert’s Market.”

I’m sure you know this place. It’s where you buy beer on the way to “The Washout.” You’re probably remembering when you stood in line for 15 minutes and missed prime sun time. You were pissed. Maybe you’re thinking about how the 12-pack of Michelob Ultra Light was overpriced. It made you furious. The woman behind the counter was smoking a cigarette while ringing up your beer. You coughed a little.

If you’re a stickler for immediate service and quality meals, Bert’s Market is not for you. If you want to walk into a store and find food, drinks, magazines, sunscreen, cigarettes and diapers under one roof, go to a grocery store. If you want to walk into a store and find food, drinks, magazines, sunscreen, cigarettes and diapers under one roof without your shirt on, go to Bert’s. It is one of few places where no shirt and no shoes is no problem.

While beer prices may be a dollar or two more than at the Piggly Wiggly, Bert’s spoils its customers with 75 cent chili dogs. Dress your dog in onions, cheddar cheese, relish, ketchup and mustard for no extra charge. So, what if that Picasso wiener is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year?

Just like heaven, Bert’s is open 24 hours. Even better than heaven, Bert’s delivers. Wherever you are on Folly Beach, before 10 p.m., a Bert’s employee will bring you more beer, more toilet paper or more Twinkies. To make sure you have enough beer for later, Bert’s enforces a $10 minimum on all deliveries.

Bert’s market is the only mom-and-pops convenience store left on Folly Beach. It’s also the only place to get groceries at 4:30 a.m., when you need them most. To top it off, it’s the only place where the employees aren’t forced to say, “Have a good day,” but they say it anyway.

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