NEWBURGH, Ind. — In 2019, Huck’s and retail services provider GSP came together to help the convenience store operator achieve its goal of shifting to a fresh, new look and feel that would resonate with both existing and new customers. Thus, the Huck’s Market concept was born, ushering in an exciting new brand that impacts the entire store from forecourt to foodservice.
Fast forward to September 2021, and Huck’s and GSP again joined forces to bring the retailer’s latest new-to-industry site in Newburgh to fruition. Boasting 6,000 square feet, the latest Huck’s Market is the first of its size for the company.
Opening a store of this caliber in the city of Newburgh is significant for several reasons. For starters, the city possesses a suburban-rural mix with ample opportunity for new development. Newburgh is also home to one of the top-performing Huck’s Market locations, and is part of the larger metropolitan area of Evansville, where the retailer has several stores.
“This location marks the beginning and has helped us set up establishing where the Huck’s brand and image is headed in the future. We have been able to see the benefits of the larger square footage almost immediately, and our new programs in the kitchen took off with a bang,” Huck’s Vice President of Marketing Brittany Bayley told Convenience Store News. “There were several benefits [of] adding more retail space, making our stores more efficient for our associates and more spread out for our customers. We couldn’t be more pleased.”
With overall aesthetics that deliver a warm, friendly, inviting and comfortable look and feel, the design of the Newburgh Huck’s Market is intended to entice and highlight the retailer’s extensive foodservice offerings.
When it comes to the company’s long-term strategic goals for foodservice, Huck’s has five focal points to position it as the best food choice in the markets it serves. According to Dave Grimes, vice president of foodservice, these value propositions include:
- Variety: Utilizing its test kitchen, Huck’s will aggressively pursue new product offers. “We will continue developing our Huck’s Kitchen concept, which includes Godfather’s Pizza, Cluck’s Chicken, Bigg Bakery, Bigg Breakfast, and Bigg Fresh. The goals of the varieties offered here are to address all dayparts, a variety of flavor cravings, and healthy eating concerns.”
- Value: Intelligent buying and effective category management enables Huck’s to offer the highest-quality goods at extremely competitive prices. “Moving forward, our plan is to leverage current relations by treating vendors as business partners and developing new relationships to build new partnerships and ensure that current vendors remain competitive.”
- Quality: Huck’s recently constructed a test kitchen to aggressively test new products using current cooking methods to ensure the company can produce the quality it desires. “We also tweak current practices to ensure all cooking methods used ensure the highest-quality levels possible. Our goal is to continue to leverage our test kitchen to ensure we regularly improve the quality of our offers.”
- Consistency: The retailer’s field foodservice leadership team works every day in-store to ensure consistency in operations. “Our goals here include regular corporate training in our test kitchen to ensure we are consistent with our operations in terms of food preparation.”
- Convenience: The goal is to not only live Huck’s tagline of “Fresh • Fast • Friendly,” but also to be convenient. Where available, Huck’s offers several third-party delivery platforms, including Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Godfather’s. “We are also selling time to our customers. Place the order and it comes to your doorstep. No need to go out in the cold or buckle all of the kids in the car.”
These value propositions come to life at the new Huck’s Market through a number a of foodservice options that span all dayparts. In the morning, the store offers Bigg Breakfast, including the choice of biscuit, croissant or bagel sandwiches and breakfast burritos. Breakfast orders can be completed by Ronnoco premium coffee served from bean-to-cup machines that ensure freshness, in addition to Stok Cold Coffee and a variety of cappuccino flavors.
Lunch and dinner options include Godfather’s Pizza and Cluck’s Famous Fried Chicken. Also on the menu are rotisserie chicken, salads, burgers, and chicken and tenderloin sandwiches.
In-between-meal fillers and snacks are provided by the retailer’s Bigg Bakery and include such fare as doughnuts, turnovers, croissants, muffins, cookies and brownies. Also available are fresh jumbo pretzels; the Nutty Bavarian, a selection of candy-coated almonds, cashews and pecans; Fresh Blends frozen beverages; and f’real milkshakes.
Additional amenities available at the new Huck’s Market are:
- 16 fueling stations;
- Huck’s Bucks Bigg Rewards program;
- Skip the Line technology, whereby customers can pay via their mobile phones;
- Two self-checkout units; and
- Outdoor seating.
Huck’s and GSP will monitor the new 6,000-square-foot concept and work together to make any necessary changes to better accommodate guests and employees. The pair is also exploring point-of-purchase solutions to support a total remodel strategy.
“We are pleased with the locations’ efficiencies, but are always looking at ways to make things better. No idea or creativity gets shot down here at Huck’s — no matter how crazy the idea may be,” Bayley expressed. “We are always working together as a team to make our stores and our business the best it can be. We are truly thankful for our Huck’s team, our vendors, partners and our people. They are the ones that make the Huck’s Market culture and brand what it is today. The future is bright for Huck’s Market!”
Carmi, Ill.-based Huck’s currently operates more than 120 convenience stores in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.