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    Penn Oil Co. Thrives on Diversity

    Independent operator varies products mix based on location.

    NEW YORK -- Pennsylvania based Penn Oil Co. owns and operates several Smart Mart convenience stores on the policy of avoiding the "cookie-cutter" approach, and gears it's product offerings to each store's location, according to Suzanne Palmer, vice president at Penn Oil Co.

    While many independent owners struggle in today's market, Penn Oil continues to survive and innovate. The company recently tore down and rebuilt one location at Kenhorst Boulevard and Lancaster Avenue in Sinking Spring, Pa., and offers distinct foodservice products tailored to each of its c-store locations throughout the area.

    "A product unique to the location is the recipe for success," said Palmer. "The most important thing is the diversification of what you offer."

    It's Reading, Pa. Store offers Chester Fried Chicken because of the available fast food restaurants surrounding it, and its Yellow House location offers pizza because there is no other pizza offering around it for miles, according to the company.

    "You have to have a little niche, a specialty in what you're offering people," said John Palmer, president of Penn Oil and it's sister company, Automotive Service Inc., a distributor of home heating oil, commercial lubricants, gasoline and diesel fuel.

    The company is also a franchisee of Pacific Pride, offering fleet fueling services at its Pottstown and Baumstown locations, and plans to continue its success.

    "It's always worked out well for us at the end of the day," said Palmer.

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