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Ricker’s Next Generation


With more than 700 employees and 50-plus convenience stores, the Ricker’s brand isn’t afraid to break the mold of what traditional convenience stores have to offer. Its latest addition in the Bridgewater Development at Carey Road and 146th Street in Carmel, Ind., paves the way for future Ricker’s stores, offering customers amenities not so common in c-stores.

“This store will serve as the flagship for the Ricker’s brand,” said Quinn Ricker, president and CEO of Ricker Oil Co., headquartered in Anderson, Ind. “Quality food and drink offerings in convenience stores are the future of our industry.”

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 part of Indy metro” that fit the demographics the brand was looking to serve.

Similarly, there wasn’t any specific inspiration for the flagship design.

“We have had a lot of learnings from visiting some of the best food operators on the East Coast,” he said. “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. We will move forward with our next generation of new builds and roll out the offers within it to our heritage stores.”

The Indiana convenience store chain’s new sleek design is aesthetically different from what one might expect a typical c-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. The c-store also features Franke premium coffee machines for real lattes, cappuccinos and espressos. All beverage machines use reverse-osmosis water filtration for the freshest tasting beverages.

  • A selection of beer and wine priced lower than most liquor stores.
  • A Manitowoc Multiplex machine for smoothies, yogurt smoothies and shakes.
  • Doorless and touch-free bathrooms.
  • Seating for food customers.
  • Touchscreen ordering.
  • Ricker’s new proprietary French recipe cookie baked fresh daily.
  • 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 said. “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.”

Additionally, the new Carmel location is the second Ricker’s store to carry its own brand of frozen yogurt. Also offered at the Ricker’s at 7788 SR 13 near Pendleton, Ind., Ricker’s self-serve frozen yogurt is available in a variety of flavors with a toppings bar.

Aside from its food and drink offerings, Ricker’s still values its fuel brand as a high priority. The flagship location features private-label Ricker’s fuels, along with providing Lucas Oil additives in its premium and diesel fuels to increase power and fuel mileage and lower exhaust emissions. Ricker excitedly shared that this is an industry first.

The Carmel location serves the brand’s mission well. “We take care of our people first by how we communicate to our people, the type of facility we build and what we put inside our stores,” he said. “If we take care of our people, the customer will get taken care of ultimately.”

And the Ricker’s brand isn’t showing signs of slowing down. 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 with virtually the same offer and layout as the flagship location.

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