Retail News: Franchised Timewise stores begin Honey Farms transition

The former Timewise now Honey Farms at Wayside and 45. The update included new signage and new paint. The orange stripe from the On The Run days is now dark blue, and the tan building white. Photo submitted by an Anonymous HHR Commenter

Crews have been working for the past week to complete the transition of about 20 franchised Timewise stores into Honey Farms. These changes are the result of Timewise selling off 64 locations after the C-Store business was purchased by Shell nearly two years ago. The company converted every location they could to Shell but had multiple sites where they could not change the fuel brand from Exxon. The decision to jettison these stores landed them in the laps of Massachucttes-based Global Partners, who themselves had acquired Honey Farms in 2017. The brand seems to sort of be a mid-tier store for them, not featuring fresh food like other concepts Global Partners also operates. Visit to these stores shows that little has changed regarding merchandise mix. However, leased items like soda fountains, frozen drink dispensers, etc… are being swapped out. One advantage is that Honey Farms has lowered the price of their fountain drinks by about 10 cents, although they’re still using Timewise cups, along with selling their coffee. Not all locations have swapped over; it seems that Honey Farms is focusing on Harris County first. HHR will provide more feedback on these new stores in the coming weeks.


  1. I often wonder how much (if any) branding affects customer choices on where to fill up the car and grab a Coke.

    Buc-ees is a legend in a class by itself and I try to avoid questionable no-name stores that usually have broken soda fountains but sell lots of questionable “supplements” (a.k.a. legal drugs that give the same effects as illegal ones).

    Beyond this, for me it’s just a question of the gas prices and how easy it is to get in and out based on traffic. 7-11, Circle K, Timewise, etc. all offer the same sodas, snacks and stale hot dogs. The brand of gas is irrelevant; my car can’t tell the difference between Shell, Exxon, Kroger, etc. (and my mechanic agrees).

    1. I have an ExxonMobil card so that is where I buy my gasoline. Aside from people having cards and loyalty accounts, I can see Houstonians having brand preferences for gas. In Houston especially, many people work for one of the major oil companies or retailers who have gas stations and so I can see people being loyal to those brands especially if they get a company discount.

      I don’t shop at C-stores for anything other than gasoline and the occasional car wash (gas station car washes are usually expensive and lousy, but it is oh so convenient so I do occasionally use them). That said, there are some small differences between them aside from price and location. Near me, there is an Exxon Honey Farms and a Mobil 7-Eleven. Pricing is pretty similar at the two and access is pretty similar as well. That said, the Honey Farms/Timewise seems to be managed better. The pay-to-print receipt printers almost never work at the 7-Eleven. I almost always have to go in to get the receipt and there I have to experience the understaffing of that 7-Eleven. Maybe the understaffing leads to the receipt printers not working, but maybe it is done intentionally so people come inside and hopefully buy something. I don’t know, such incompetence can lead to conspiracies, lol.

      The 7-Eleven often doesn’t have windshield washing fluid in the squeegee bins and you might as well forget about it having towels for the squeegees. Meanwhile, the Honey Farms/Timewise Exxon receipt printers usually work (though not always) and they usually have the squeegees in usable form. At least with the 7-Eleven near me, usually at least a third of their pumps are out of order, if not more, where it is rare to see more than one pump out of order at the Honey Farms/Timewise. It just seems like 7-Eleven is lax in their gas pump maintenance.

      We used to have a Speedy Stop Mobil in my area which was really nice. It was well-maintained, cheap, and easy to get to, but they switched to self-branded gas so that doesn’t work given that I want to use my gas card.

      As far as fuel quality goes, it didn’t matter so much with port-injected fuel injection. With direct injection becoming more common, and with direct injection being prone to deposit problems, fuels with more detergents can be beneficial. Granted, if you get fuel injection cleanings from your mechanic, it may not matter. I find that with port fuel injection and decent quality gasoline, fuel injection cleanings generally aren’t necessary unless the car’s mileage is really high (200,000+ miles or something like that). As always, some cars are more sensitive to problems than others so it really depends. That said, modern computerized cars are not nearly as sensitive to gas differences as older cars from decades ago.