Sheetz Bros. Kitchen: New Distribution Network

Dedicated food production facility will change way convenience retailer does business

CLAYSBURG, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. began a new business as Sheetz Bros. Kitchen starts operations in Claysburg, Pa. Sheetz Bros. Kitchen is a completely new distribution network for Sheetz. The $46 million kitchen facility is the cornerstone of the latest Sheetz plan to bring a higher level of convenience to its customers, the company said.

As reported in a CSP Daily News Flash yesterday, the 140,000-square-foot facility is located in the Walter Business Park next to the Sheetz Distribution Center. Sheetz will make new ready-to-eat food products to be delivered fresh [image-nocss] daily to all of the company's 350 locations across six states. The Kitchen has plans for several new bakery items as well. The bakery will produce a new variety of Shweetz donuts, cookies, muffins and cinnamon rolls. It will also make biscuits, sub rolls, hamburger and hot dog rolls, shipped fresh daily.

There is also a dedicated fleet of delivery trucks and drivers who work solely for the Kitchen, making fresh deliveries every day to every store.

"Sheetz Bros. Kitchen will provide the company with the ability to continue to meet the demands of our customers. This facility will change the way we do business," said Stan Sheetz, president and CEO. "It will allow us to expand our offer and give more choices to our customers."

A large part of the decision to develop this new division of the company was made as a way to simplify tasks for employees at the storesallowing them more time to be on the floor, thus improving customer service. Ingredients for the proprietary Made To Order foodservice brand will now be prepared at the new facility. The centralized production of these ingredients will provide higher quality and more consistency in how stores make MTO menu items. This system will also allow for more efficient work by store employees because it takes some of the complexities out of their daily routines.

Additionally, a new MTgo! line of menu items of grab and go sandwiches, salads and yogurt parfaits will be made at the kitchen and delivered fresh daily.

"Filling condiment bottles, baking sub rolls and cookies and prepping of other ingredients is time consuming," Sheetz added. "By moving these tasks to the kitchen facility, we make the in-store routine easier and free up our employees to be out front serving customers."

Sheetz Bros. Kitchen will be part of the Sheez Distribution Services division, led by Ray Ryan, executive vice president of distribution services, along with Darrin Pohar, director of distribution service and Jarrod Sharpe, commissary manager.

This projectdeveloped with help from several key federal, state, county and local governmental agencieshas been five years in the making, the company said. It will create more than 450 jobs over the next five years including production employees, drivers and administrative personnel. The Altoona Blair County Development Corp. was also instrumental in helping complete Sheetz Bros. Kitchen.

"ABCD Corp. is proud to have the continued opportunity to partner with the entire Sheetz family and corporate team in their commitment and investment to the Blair County Area and the I-99 Corridor," said Martin J. Marasco, president and CEO of ABCD Corp. "We consider our collaborative efforts for economic development here at ABCD Corp. an item of great pride and the Sheetz Bros. Kitchen project demonstrated this effort perfectly. Through the combined vision, goals and efforts from federal, state, county and township agencies along with the business and financial institutions, we were able to pull together all of our resource towards making this project a realization."

Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, a family-owned and operated convenience store chains with more than $3.9 billion in revenue for 2007 and more than 11,000 employees, company operates more than 340 convenience locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.