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What's In Store: GPM Investments, Love's Travel Stops & Royal Farms

Rusty Lantern Market, SunStop and Tri Star Energy also welcomed customers at new locations.

NATIONAL REPORT — The convenience store industry landscape is constantly changing as chains open and close stores each week. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these comings and goings in this special roundup.

[Read more: What's In Store: Buc-ee's, Foxtrot & GetGo Café + Market]

Pride Store exterior in South Windsor, Connecticut
GPM Investments' new Pride c-store in South Windsor, Conn.

GPM Investments LLC

ARKO Corp. subsidiary GPM Investments opened a new Pride convenience store in South Windsor, Conn., on June 30, just ahead of Independence Day.

Sitting at 4,860 square feet, the site features a Chester's Chicken alongside proprietary food offerings. The new location also has both indoor and outdoor seating, six drive-thru multiple product dispensers with 12 fuel pumps, two diesel dispensers with four fuel pumps, five high flow diesel dispensers with 10 fuel pumps, and parking for up to 40 cars and 12 diesel trucks. 

ARKO previously acquired Pride Convenience Holdings in December of last year, which expanded the convenience store retailer's portfolio into Massachusetts. 

Love's Travel Stop exterior in Lucedale, Mississippi
A new Love's in Lucedale, Miss.

Love's Travel Stops

Love's Travel Stops is now serving customers at three new locations: 1600 N. Fort Grant Road in Willcox, Ariz., 2127 Hopper Road in Lucedale, Miss., and at East Cardinal Way off of exit 75 on Interstate 70 in Parachute, Colo.

Combined, the sites created 185 jobs and 152 parking spaces between the three of them. All locations are open 24/7 and offer many of the same amenities, such as bean-to-cup gourmet coffee, brand-name snacks, showers, laundry facilities, CAT scales, RV parking, diesel bays and mobile to-go zones.

Love's Travel Stop exterior in Parachute, Colorado
A new Love's in Parachute, Colo.

The locations in Wilcox and Lucedale also include an Arby's, while the site in Parachute has a Chester's Chicken, McDonald's and Fresh Kitchen concept.    

In honor of the grand openings, Love's donated $2,000 split between the Willcox Quarterback Club and the Willcox Historic Theater and Arts of Willcox, $2,000 to George County Sheriff's Office Benefit Fund Inc. and $2,000 to the Parachute Branch Library.

Royal Farms

Royal Farms will be opening its third location in North Carolina in New Bern at the end of July.

The first two locations opened in Grandy and Greenville earlier in the year. Lumberton, Kinston, and Jacksonville, N.C., locations will be opening later in the year.

[Read more: Royal Farms to Open First North Carolina Store in 2023]

The New Bern location will host a ticketed soft opening event where customers can check out the new store and be served one free meal from the event menu. Free tickets for the opening will be available via Eventbrite.

The New Bern location will be equipped with 16 fuel pumps, a carwash and operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Free carwashes can be earned through the Royal Farms rewards program, RoFo Rewards.

Rusty Lantern exterior in Loudon, New Hampshire
Loudon, N.H.

Rusty Lantern Market

Rusty Lantern Market opened the doors to its third New Hampshire location, the 26th store in the company's roster and the eighth store opening within the last 12 months.

"We are very excited to be expanding into Loudon. This area located at 904 Route 106, near the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, was in need of quality convenience offerings," said Rusty Lantern CEO and Manager John Koch. "I think what I'm most excited about, however, is sharing what we've built with our neighbors and introducing them to the notion and our premise — that this convenience store is dedicated to providing local, craft, fresh food and products."

The 4,200-square-foot location includes a full kitchen and seating area, an outdoor seating area, and an array of specialty handmade beverages, as well as a self-serve beverage area. The forecourt features 10 fueling points, including two pumps under a larger canopy to accommodate customers who might be driving larger trucks or motor homes, or hauling equipment such as boats.

[Read more: Rusty Lantern Markets Adds Four C-stores to Northeast Network]

SunStop interior in Tallahassee Florida
Tallahassee, Fla.


SunStop opened its newest location in Tallahassee, Fla., at 3500 N. Monroe Street, centered on the corner of N. Monroe and Talpeco Road on July 12.

The remodeled store sits at 5,500 square feet, and features Eat's Southern Cooking and a diverse mix of merchandise. Customers can also choose from a variety of healthy options like fresh salads, fruit and sushi, as well as take advantage of the facility's free Wi-Fi.

The location includes 20 EMV encrypted fuel dispensers with SunStop's proprietary Inland branded fuel and auto diesel, providing customers a secure method of payment for their credit and debit transactions. 

In addition, SunStop offers a proprietary payment method, Sunny Saver, that gives customers 10 cents off per gallon, and one of the most robust customer loyalty programs in the industry, giving customers the chance to save even more money on fuel purchases, according to the retailer.

Future plans include at least four more new SunStop locations to Tallahassee, creating a total of eight stores in the retailer's operational area footprint. The next location, on Highway 90 at the Summit East business complex, will open in October.

SunStop and Eat's Southern Cooking are owned by Bainbridge, Ga.-based Southwest Georgia Oil Co., which operates 78 convenience stores and grocery stores across the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama and southern Georgia. Southwest Georgia Oil is also a wholesaler of petroleum and lubricant products under the Total Petroleum banner.

Tri Star Energy

Tri Star Energy's Twice Daily brand recently cut the ribbon on two new locations in Alabama: one in Dothan at 2940 Hartford Highway and one in Athens at 1721 Trigreen Drive, the latter of which also includes a White Bison Coffee. 

The store opening in Dothan is part of a three-year plan for the retailer to convert all Sudden Service and Southern Traders c-stores to the Twice Daily banner throughout Tennessee and Alabama, with a third Dothan location planned for later this summer at 3376 W. Main Street.

In addition to traditional convenience items, Twice Daily's premium offerings range from organic grab-and-go snacks to a selection of staple groceries to beer caves featuring local and craft beers. A fresh deli case provides fruits, sandwiches, salads and snacks. Other fare includes doughnuts, pastries, and freshly prepared breakfast and lunch sandwiches. 

The White Bison Coffee concept offers handcrafted specialty coffee drinks, such as single origin pour-over coffees, cold brew, seasonal drinks and more. Guests can also enjoy freshly baked pastries and handmade breakfast and lunch items.

To celebrate the new locations, Twice Daily donated $1,500 each to respective local food banks Wiregrass Area Food Bank and House of Harvest. 

[Read more: Twice Daily Unveils Refreshed Loyalty App]

Founded in 2000, Nashville, Tenn.-based Tri Star Energy is the parent company of convenience store brands Twice Daily and White Bison Coffee, Sudden Service, Southern Traders, Little General and Maverick Quick Shops.

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