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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Bosselman Cos. operates 50 Pump & Pantry convenience stores throughout the state, about half of which are located in small-town communities. The fourth-generation, family-owned company, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, prides itself on its hometown commitment to customers. This commitment is even part of its mission statement, so when crafting a new Pump & Pantry prototype design, the company wanted to reflect a hometown feel throughout.
“We looked back and saw how we succeeded over the years, and then looked at our competition putting up sterile and sharp store designs,” Charlie Bosselman, president of Bosselman Cos., told CSNews Online. “We knew we wanted to lend ourselves to being the hometown experience and reflect that in our new builds.”
The new streamlined, contemporary "hometown" design reflects the look of a Victorian house, featuring a turret with a round-shaped room and pointed roof. This area provides seating for customers to eat and drink inside the store. The overall design is modeled after the look and feel of its Grandma Max’s restaurants, which also feature a turret.
“Everyone liked the look and it really brought forth the hometown theme, so we decided to incorporate it into the c-stores to relate the same feeling,” Bosselman said.
The traditional Pump & Pantry colors are green, yellow and white, but the new design adds in blue to “pump up” the brand image and allow for more creativity, he said. The store exterior features a blue metal roof and white, split-faced brick, with the turret positioned in the front and to the right. The design took a year to create and was done internally before being passed to an outside architect who drew up the plans.
The first store to feature a scaled-down version of the hometown design was a 30-year-old location that burned to the ground a year and a half ago in Chapman, Neb. It is approximately 1,800 square feet. A second location, which opened a couple of months ago in Fremont, Neb., reflects the standard footprint of nearly 3,000 square feet.
To carry the hometown feel indoors, the company designed a backdrop to its snack bar area using images of the Bosselman family and history of the company through the present time. It also brought the pop of blue inside, near the cooler.
“In the past, we just had white walls. But we brightened it up with color and graphics,” Bosselman said. “We redesigned all the cabinets with a cherry wood finish and a solid surface top for a high-end look, and spent a lot of time working on each category.”
One of the biggest and most successful changes is the addition of a Cinnabon franchise in the store. Such franchises will be in operation at 10 Pump & Pantry locations by the end of this year. Bosselman said he wanted to offer customers something they could not get in another c-store and something that would capture their attention with the aroma the moment they stepped through the doors. The chain will continue adding Cinnabon to 10 or 15 more locations, and possibly operate some standalone franchise locations as well.
“We are the only c-store chain Cinnabon has done a deal with because they wanted someone who was dedicated to doing it right. To pull it off, you really have to operate it as a restaurant, and we have been in the restaurant business for 65 years,” he said.
For more on Pump & Pantry's new hometown store prototype, look in the October issue of Convenience Store News.