Expanding Like Crazy'

Wilson Farms, 7-Eleven, Sheetz, QuikTrip opening, building new stores

WEST SENECA N.Y. -- Executives of Wilson Farms Neighborhood Food Stores, along with local dignitaries, are marking the official grand opening of a recently remodeled Wilson Farms convenience store in West Seneca, N.Y., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning.

The renovated location now features freshly made subs, sandwiches and salads, hot breakfast sandwiches and fresh baked goods that are delivered daily. It also includes an expanded produce, dairy and frozen line as well as an overall increase in product variety for customers to enjoy. The location will also introduce [image-nocss] brand-name product lines including Staples, O-Cedar and Good Cook/Kitchen Bakeware brand products.

"This project represents our commitment to give back and to invest in the western New York region," said Paul Nanula, CEO and president of Wilson Farms. "We welcome the residents of the West Seneca community and nearby neighborhoods to visit the Seneca Street Wilson Farms, which has been expanded to better suit the needs of our customers. The increased product variety matched with our consistent quality customer service will make this store a shopping destination for people of all ages."

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Wilson Farms Neighborhood Food Stores, established in 1969, currently operates 190 c-store and gas station locations across New York State.

Separately, as previously reported in CSP Daily News, 7-Eleven is opening its 100th c-store to join the company's business conversion program (BCP). The store is located in Queens Village, N.Y. The day's festivities will include the cutting of a 7-foot 11-inch sandwich followed by goodies from 7-Eleven's Fresh Foods Program. The new 7-Eleven store's owners and key 7-Eleven executives, including Jeffrey Schenck, senior vice president of national franchise and real estate, will be in attendance, as well as local public officials.

The 3,800-square-foot location is owned by Piyush "Peter" Patel along with his brother and uncle. Patel, a licensed pharmacist, whose family owns several other retail establishments in New York and Connecticut, said that he was attracted to Dallas-based 7-Eleven's proven approach to convenience store operations.Meanwhile, construction of Lancaster, Pa.'s first Sheetz c-store is under way, reported The Lancaster New Era. The 5,000-sq.-ft. location, due to open in June, will feature seven gasoline pumps and operate 24 hours a day.

Creating 35 to 45 jobs, the new Sheetz will be the first structure in a business park to be built by Oak Tree Development, said the report.

The store, costing more than $2 million to construct and equip, will face inward, away from the intersection, so it faces future structures; however, Sheetz does not want motorists who travel past that intersection every day to see the usual back of a store, so it is putting faux windows and an entrance on the side facing the intersection.

"We're doing a lot to accommodate the fact that this store is at a gateway to Lancaster City," Mike LaCesa, Sheetz's director of real estate for the eastern region, told the newspaper.

"We're using a lot of architectural accents, to dress the building up, so it's aesthetically pleasing from all four sides," he added.

The location will be the eighth in the county for Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz, which came to the county in 1996 by opening a New Holland store.

Also,The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that QuikTrip Corp. will soon begin construction on a c-store on Fort Worth, Texas' north side. The Tulsa, Okla.-based company recently bought slightly more than one acre just north of the downtown business district, according to deed records cited by the newspaper.

Construction on a 5,000-sq.-ft. store is expected to begin in April and to be completed in October, QuikTrip spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh told the paper. It will have 10 gasoline pumps to accommodate 20 vehicles at a time, he added.

QuikTrip has 60 stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, said the report, with six more under construction, including one in Euless, Texas.

"We're going to be expanding like crazy," Thornbrugh said. QuikTrip stores employ 15 to 18 full- and part-time workers, he said.