CARMEL, Ind. — 2015 will mark a historic growth year for Ricker Oil Co., operator of Ricker’s convenience stores in central Indiana. In what will be its fastest year of organic growth in company history, Ricker’s will have five new stores coming online this year.
Each one will feature virtually the same offer and layout as the new flagship location the retailer opened in November in Carmel, Ind. Quinn Ricker, president and CEO of the Anderson, Ind.-based chain, recently spoke with CSNews Online about the flagship location and what it represents for the future of Ricker’s.
“We have had a lot of learnings from visiting some of the best food operators on the East Coast. It was a combination of these visits, our belief that the future of our company is in food, continuous improvement in store design, and the heritage we have with upscale convenience that led us to this store being our flagship design,” he explained. “We will move forward with our next generation of new builds and roll out the offers within it to our heritage stores.”
As Ricker explained, there wasn’t any particular reason for choosing Carmel as the flagship store location other than it is a “great property” in “an underserved party of Indy metro” that fit the demographics the brand was looking to serve.
The new sleek store design is aesthetically different from what one might expect a typical convenience store to look like, boasting features such as a large center atrium with heavy use of stone and brick that houses a chandelier, and use of subway tile throughout the store and glass mosaic tile throughout the food and coffee areas.
Ricker’s Carmel location also offers a vast spread of unique amenities, including:
- A Schaerer “fresh from bean to cup” coffee machine that delivers a fresh grind pressure-brewed cup of coffee similar to a French press;
- Franke premium coffee machines for real lattes, cappuccinos and espressos;
- A selection of beer and wine priced lower than most liquor stores;
- A Manitowoc Multiplex machine for smoothies and shakes;
- Doorless and touch-free bathrooms;
- Seating for food customers;
- Touchscreen ordering;
- Ricker’s new proprietary French recipe cookie baked fresh daily; and
- The brand’s famous “RickerPop” fountain drinks.
This location is also home to Ricker’s proprietary brand of fast and fresh Mexican cuisine, complete with burritos, salads, quesadillas and soft tacos, similar to the menu of a Chipotle or Qdoba restaurant, according to Ricker.
“We are proud to offer such a fresh, high-quality and affordable product that is also unique to the Ricker’s brand,” the CEO told CSNews Online. “We prepare all food items fresh, in-store and made to order. Kiosks are in place to allow each order to be customized to the individual’s liking.”
For more on Ricker’s new store design, look in the March issue of Convenience Store News.