Rich's Invites C-store Retailers to Innovation Center
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Rich Products Corp. had a busy summer with the opening of its new multi-use Innovation Center and Atrium, following an $18.5-million renovation project at its headquarters here.
Conversion of the 25-year-old Rich Renaissance Niagara atrium to the Rich's Innovation Center signals a new approach to service and accessibility for the company's global customer base, while enhancing the collaborative work experience for associates at the headquarters and around the world, according to a company announcement.
The Innovation Center is essentially a hub where customers/operators can come for group product demonstrations or schedule one-on-one meetings where Rich's team of culinarians can provide solutions for specific programs, a company spokesperson told CSNews Online. Convenience store owners, particularly those who bake/serve food in-store, are one of the target groups.
For example, a convenience store owner recently visited Rich's Innovation Center because he was interested in a putting together a pizza program. Rich's was able to provide guidance, product samples and solutions for this owner to put to use in his store. The meeting at the Innovation Center served as a way for him to test the waters and determine his options, the spokesperson explained.
The Innovation Center offers a new brand of collaborative meeting functionality, with broadcast-enabled presentation and learning areas, and an ultra-modern test kitchen equipped with communications technologies to link associates and customers around the world.
The space includes a customer lounge, training room for employees, conference room equipped with video conference capability, and a "product presentation area" with tables and a counter for guests plus video screens to offer a close-up view of employees preparing food.
When customers leave, Rich's gives them a thumb drive with pertinent details of the presentation to share with their colleagues, The Buffalo News reported.
Attached to the product presentation area are kitchens designed to resemble those typically found in a supermarket bakery or a restaurant. "They can really envision how our products will operate, look and feel in their kitchen environment," said Dwight Gram, vice president of corporate communications.
In addition, the new atrium area provides an expanded venue for public and private event hosting and catering excellence, accommodating social and business gatherings for up to 1,000 attendees. It serves as a link between Rich's and the community, while also serving as a family-style collaboration area for impromptu business discussions.
With the Innovation Center and Atrium project completed, Rich's has reinvested more than $88 million in its Buffalo headquarters since 2007. In the spring, the company plans to redesign its Research & Development Center on the third floor of the atrium. Work will include expansion of the functional space, as well as updates to lab specifications and equipment.