What's In Store: Love's Travel Stops, Parker's Kitchen & QuickChek

Royal Farms, Stewart's Shops, Thorntons and TravelCenters of America also welcomed customers at new locations.
Amanda Koprowski
Associate Editor
Koprowski Headshot

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: Foxtrot, Love's Travel Stops & Royal Farms]

Exterior of Love's Travel Stop in Shreveport Louisiana

Love's Travel Stops

Love's Travel Stops opened three new locations this fall: one in West Point, Ga., off Interstate 85 at Exit 2 (1917 Highway 18); one in Shreveport, La., off Interstate 49 at Exit 215 (5430 North Market St.); and in Herculaneum, Mo., off Interstate 55 at Exit 178 (1199 McNutt St.).

The new stores added a total of 275 jobs and 268 truck parking spaces to their communities. All three are open 24/7 and offer bean-to-cup coffee, brand-name snacks, Love's Mobile to Go Zone, RV parking spaces, diesel bays, showers, laundry facilities and CAT scales.

The West Point store — the largest of the new sites at 17,000 square feet — also features a Godfather's Pizza and Hardee's, along with four RV hookups. The Shreveport store includes a Carl's Jr., while the Herculaneum store has an Arby's attached.

In honor of the grand openings, Love's donated $2,000 each to mental health and suicide prevention organization West Point Park and Joy Inside Tears Inc.; Northwood and Green Oaks High Schools; Jeffco's Shop with a Cop and Kade's Playground, respectively.

Parker's Kitchen grand opening in Rincon Georgia

Parker's Kitchen

Parker's Kitchen hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new store located at 107 North Columbia Ave. in Rincon, Ga., on Oct. 24. The site is the company's sixth location in Effingham County.

Situated at the heart of Rincon, the site offers the company's Southern-style, made-from-scratch meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a wide range of convenience items, electronic kiosk ordering, six fueling positions and indoor dining options. The store design also features Lowcountry-inspired architecture with an exterior façade in lime-washed brick, handsome bracketry and designer lighting. 

As part of the grand opening ceremonies, Olivia Parker, Parker's Kitchen community outreach manager, presented a $20,000 Fueling the Community check to Effingham County Schools Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford to support local teachers and students. Since 2011, the company has donated more than $2 million to schools in Georgia and South Carolina through the Fueling the Community initiative.

"We love Effingham County and are honored to offer our exceptional Parker's Kitchen food to customers at our new store on Highway 21 and to continue to support Effingham County Schools," said Parker. "We're committed to being part of the community in Rincon and appreciate the support of our loyal customers across the area."

Exterior of QuickChek in Scotch Plains New Jersey

QuickChek

Murphy USA subsidiary QuickChek opened a new, 5,670-square-foot store at 475 Terrill Road in Scotch Plains, N.J.

[Read more: QuickChek Gets Into the Game as Official Sub Partner of NFL Team]

Amenities in the new store include an open floor plan with spacious stand-alone food displays and consumer-friendly, wide aisles; no-fee ATMs; 12 fueling positions; indoor seating for 10 people and outdoor seating for eight; and 56 parking spaces, plus three spaces for oversized vehicles.

"We want to be a special part of our customers' day and we are thrilled to continue to expand the QuickChek brand into Scotch Plains," said QuickChek Divisional Vice President Don Leech. "We look forward to serving the area with the best-in-class foodservice, quality brand offerings and total customer dedication from our friendly team members that we are known for."

As part of the grand opening, QuickChek gave away one free cup of self-serve, hot or iced coffee, per customer, per day, to QuickChek Rewards members between Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.

Royal Farms

Royal Farms is opening three new locations in November and December, including one Georgetwon, Del., and two Abington and Suffolk, Va.

The Georgetown store will be located at 21092 Arrow Safety Road, while the Abington and Suffolk locations will be situated at 25016 Lee Highway and 1200 Portsmouth Ave., respectively. All three stores are mere minutes from their respective cities' downtown areas and will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All three will also have attached fuel pumps, with 16 pumps a piece in Georgetown and Abington, and 12 pumps in Suffolk.

The Abington location additionally will feature an ethanol-free fuel pump and a car wash.

In honor of the openings, Royal Farms plans to make monetary donations to local charities: the Wings and Wheels event in Georgetown; the Barter Theatre Foundation in Abington; and the Suffolk Foundation in Suffolk.

All three stores will host ticketed soft openings where customers can check out the sites and be served one free meal from the opening menu. The free tickets are available on Eventbrite for GeorgetownAbington and Suffolk.

Grand Opening of Stewarts Shop store in Middletown New York

Stewart's Shops

Stewart's Shops introduced the chain's newest location to the community of Middletown, N.Y. — its thirteenth site within the Washington Heights area.

Featuring a large footprint, both inside and out, the new store includes an expanded grocery section, a spacious food bar and a beer cave, in addition to parking, outdoor seating and a multitude of gas pumps. 

As part of the grand opening ceremonies, Stewart's donated $1,500 to the Circleville School to help support their ENL Afterschool Program.

The store build is part of the company's multimillion-dollar construction investment for 2023 and 2024. For 2023, Stewart's invested in six rebuilds and five new-to-industry shops, while plans for 2024 include eight rebuilds and four new-to-industry stores. All of which comes on top of the $50 million construction fund the company had already used to expand in 2022.

Thorntons

BP portfolio company Thorntons opened a new Chicagoland store, its 91st location in the state of Illinois. 

[Read more: bp Honors Thorntons Legacy & Community Ties]

Located at 500 West Maple in New Lenox, the 4,400 square foot facility is set on 1.61 acres and features a number of amenities including self-checkout, LED lighting for safety and energy efficiency, freshly made burritos and sandwiches from the store's onsite kitchen, fresh bean-to-cup coffee, fountain beverages and 16 auto fueling positions.

At the grand opening celebration on Nov. 10, guests received a Thorntons gift card which could be immediately scanned at the register to determine the value, with one lucky customer winning a $1,000 gift card. Attendees were also treated to live music, games and giveaways.

Additionally, Thorntons leadership presented a $2,500 donation to the Northern Illinois Food Bank as part of the company's ongoing commitment to help feed the hungry in all of the communities where it operates.

Logo for TravelCenters of America Inc.

TravelCenters of America Inc.

TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA), a bp portfolio company, continued to expand its network of travel centers with the opening of a new location in Glenrio, N.M. 

Located at 1583 Frontage Road 4132, off of historic Route 66 (I-40 exit 369), the site was acquired upon TA's purchase of the family-owned Russell's Travel Center. The closing included an extended five-year lease for a classic car and memorabilia museum located on site, which will continue to be operated by the Russell family, Route 66 News reported.

Store amenities include Russell's Route 66 Diner, a Subway, hot and cold beverages, snacks, 10 diesel fueling positions, eight gasoline fueling lanes, 175 truck parking spaces, 80 car parking spaces, RV parking, private showers, laundry facilities and a pet area.

The Glenrio travel center is the company's ninth location to open in New Mexico, growing its total nationwide network of travel centers to 293. 

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