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TULSA, Okla. -- QuikTrip Corp. opened a new store along historic Route 66 in Verdigris, Okla., yesterday, marking the opening of the first new QuikTrip store in the Tulsa area in more than three years, Tulsa World reported.
The 4,600-square-foot store, which boasts 16 gas pumps, is the 56th location in Oklahoma for the convenience-store chain. Several other Tulsa-area sites are scheduled to open in the next few years, according to QuikTrip president and CEO Chet Cadieux.
"QuikTrip has dedicated the past three years remodeling all of our stores to accommodate our new QT Kitchens offer of fresh sandwiches and bakery items," Cadieux told the newspaper. "Now, we're ready to expand our presence in Oklahoma."
A ribbon-cutting ceremony with local officials marked the store opening.
In other QuikTrip news, thousands of rolls and donuts will be rolling into Kansas City-area QuikTrip stores with the official opening of the company’s new bakery. Under the name of QT Kitchens, the 100,000-square-foot facility in Belton, Mo., will initially produce doughnuts, muffins, rolls and cookies each day, which will be delivered fresh daily to the 74 QuikTrip stores in the Kansas City metropolitan area. A fleet of refrigerated trucks will ensure every store has fresh pastry waiting for customers each morning.
The bakery will create a boost for the Kansas City economy. "We were able to create 100 new jobs with the opening of our QT Kitchens facility," Cadieux said in a written statement. “We are very excited about the quality and value we have created with our new line of bakery products."
The bakery has been in the planning stages for two years. Ron Tillman, QuikTrip’s Corporate Baker, has 25 years experience in the industry and brings a wealth of knowledge to the venture, the chain reported. After months of fine-tuning the bakery operations and installing state-of-the-art bakery equipment, Tillman and his crew are producing a variety of 24 items that are available at every Kansas City-area QuikTrip store. "I am proud of the new items we have created," Tillman said. "We are producing the best pastries I have been associated with in my career."
"The QT Kitchens bakery operation in Tulsa was the testing ground for the program. The decision to build and operate the QT Kitchens in the Kansas City market was a logical step," said Tim Heuback, Kansas City division manager. "QT Kitchens produces more doughnuts and rolls than any other bakery in the Tulsa area, and we believe the same will hold true for Kansas City," Heuback said.
The bakery will eventually provide pastry products for QuikTrip stores in the St. Louis, Wichita, Omaha and Des Moines markets as well. QuikTrip Corp. is a privately owned gasoline/convenience store retailer with 483 stores in nine states.