Rutter’s to Expand Beyond Pennsylvania

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

Rutter's Farm Stores

YORK, Pa. -- Rutter’s Farm Stores, which has long operated only within the confines of Pennsylvania, plans to open its first convenience stores outside of the Keystone State this year, said Scott Hartman, CEO and president, during a visit with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wolf toured a Rutter’s c-store in York, Pa., and participated in a roundtable discussion on jobs, beer and wine sales and more.

Here are more details …

New states

Rutter's Farm Stores

York, Pa.-based Rutter’s operates 67 c-stores in Pennsylvania, officially opening its latest site—the first this year and the first in Lebanon County—in Annville, Pa., on May 11.

As part of the ceremony, Rutter’s donated $1,000 each to three local charities: the South Annville Township Police Department, which will use the donation for new bulletproof vests, the Union Hose Co. of Annville and The Caring Cupboard.

“After a 2016 record-breaking year of charitable giving, we are excited to be kicking off the 2017 season with three deserving organizations. Donating in new markets where our stores are being built is a great way to welcome the community to Rutter’s and thank them for their warm support right back. Here’s to another record-breaking year,” said Derek Gaskins, chief customer officer.

The chain expects to open c-store locations in Maryland and West Virginia this year, Hartman said, according to a report by The Central Penn Business Journal.

Rutter’s also is running out of room in its main office, company officials said.

Beer and wine

Rutter’s wine

As part of his “Jobs That Pay” tour, Wolf visited a Rutter’s c-store in York and participated in a roundtable discussion with employees focused on how consumer-based initiatives such as wine-and-beer modernization has helped the company grow and create jobs.

Since Wolf signed Act 39 of 2016, Rutter’s has expanded to include beer sales in eight stores and wine sales in at least three stores.

Among other provisions, the bill removes Sunday restrictions, allows restaurants and hotels to sell up to four bottles of wine for takeout, allows grocery stores that currently sell beer to sell up to four bottles of wine, makes permanent the ability of c-stores and gas stations to sell six-packs.

In accordance with the law, Rutter’s customers can purchase up to 3 liters of wine on any one visit. This equates to four standard bottles (750 mL) or two large bottles (1.5 liters). Sale hours for wine differ from beer. Wine can be sold Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. and on Sundays from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.

'Jobs that pay'

Rutter's Farm Stores

Wolf met at Rutter’s York headquarters for an hour with nearly a dozen company employees, including store managers who had worked their way up from entry-level positions, said the Business Journal.

It was the first time the Pennsylvania governor had visited the company’s headquarters, although in a “shameless plug,” Wolf said he is “a long-standing customer."

The word needs to get out that college isn’t for everyone and that good jobs are available to people who don’t go to a four-year postsecondary institution, said Suzanne Cramer, director of recruiting and human resources for Rutter's, during the roundtable.

Wolf, a supporter of boosting Pennsylvania’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 an hour, also said government and the private sector can do a better job of spreading that message.

“We are proud to host Gov. Wolf in our offices. With roots in Pennsylvania that date back to 1747, we have a rich history of evolving our business and meeting our customers’ needs to remain relevant,” said Hartman. “It is wonderful to see the governor connect with us on that vision and share those similar values. His work on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania has been meaningful to our growth efforts, and we are grateful he was willing to come meet with our team members and engage in a productive dialogue.”