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Baking It Fresh

Foodservice Director Kim Westover is also one of the relatively new executives at Maverik, having joined the retailer within the past year from a major food processing company. Westover is in charge of foodservice, the one category that cuts across all customer segments.

"Aspects of foodservice are targeted to different consumers," he acknowledged.

For example, a recent promotion for a lunch special featuring an appearance by an MTV host was obviously targeted to "emerging adults." Another promo, offered to the "Maverik Underground" through social media, gives a special deal such as a free large fountain drink to young people who reference the deal at certain prescribed times at the store.

For the "Women with Children" segment, Maverik offered a promo on a fat-free frozen yogurt cone for mom and an Icee drink for the kids. "It's all in the way you put the packages together," said Westover.

Other programs appeal to all customers, such as a new breakfast burrito — made fresh by hand every day — that "went from zero to selling tens of thousands in just the first few weeks," he noted.

If there's one word that describes what Maverik is about, it's "fresh," according to the foodservice director. "Baking it and making it fresh and hot on the spot."

The former restaurant operator, who worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years, joined Maverik because "you can make things happen here." He gives a lot of credit to Maverik's owners for being willing to change and innovate when things are already going well. "We're family-owned, so we can plan strategically and we don't have to live on a 13-week cycle."

Maverik was a convenience store pioneer in selling fresh food at its stores. "We bake fresh in every one of our stores every day," said Westover, noting the company doesn't utilize commissaries for prepared food. "We make sandwiches and salads, too, every day at the stores." One of the newer foodservice items available at Maverik is a rack of ribs.

"I was attracted to the c-store business because of Maverik's culture," Westover told CSNews. "For young people, this is a great place to work. You can come work for us and we will give you more responsibility at an earlier stage of your career than almost anywhere else. If someone wants to work hard, they can build a career with us."

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