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ALTOONA, Pa. -- Sheetz Inc. is saying thanks for a lifetime of loyalty and patronage to two neighborhoods that have shopped other Sheetz stores for decades, as it opens a much-anticipated new location in its hometown here.
The new store, at 1016 Old Sixth Avenue Rd. in the city's east end, will replace two other nearby locations that closed their doors yesterday after almost 40 years in operation.
"The idea of building a new store to serve this area of our hometown community has excited us for a long time," stated Stan Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz.
The store is bigger and provides the space needed to offer an expanded food and beverage menu, including the signature made-to-order (MTO) line of fresh-made foods and MTGo! and Shweetz Bakery lines of freshly made sandwiches, wraps, doughnuts and muffins.
The two stores that closed yesterday as a result of the new opening were located at 528 Fourth Ave. in the Juniata section of Altoona and 130 East Sixth Ave. in the city. Each of these stores has been in operation since 1970 and 1972, respectively.
Sheetz said it is also happy to note the store closings did not eliminate any jobs. In fact, the new store is allowing the employee count to almost double. Some staff will be relocated to existing stores, while others will work at the new store.
"When we reposition a store, we work hard to ensure that there is no job loss," Stan Sheetz said in a statement. "Because greater staffing is needed, more positions have been created, and we think that is great economic news in 2009."
The bigger, well-lit property in Altoona allows Sheetz to offer a new self-service car wash as a feature of the new store as well, according to the retailer.
In other Sheetz news, the c-store chain yesterday also opened the first of several new stores in southern West Virginia with a location at 4 Mall Road in Barboursville.
Doors officially opened to customers yesterday afternoon, but employees will host a grand opening celebration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony next Thursday, June 11, at 3 p.m. As part of next week's celebration, the company will make a donation to Barboursville Community Park for its youth recreational activities.
"The Barboursville community has been so welcoming and generous with us so far," said Sheetz. "Our team is eager to serve customers here for years to come."
The new 5,000 square-foot facility will offer the MTGo! and Shweetz Bakery lines, along with the signature MTO line of Angus beef burgers, premium grilled chicken sandwiches, freshly made salads, French fries, onion rings and more, the retailer said.
Sheetz Bros. Coffeez, a full-service espresso and smoothie bar staffed by a trained barista, is available at the new store as well. Customers can order hand-made specialty coffee drinks including lattes, cappuccinos and mochas—hot, frozen or iced. Frozen fruit smoothies round out this popular specialty drink menu.
For those who prefer to pour their own, Sheetz also offers premium brewed self-serve coffees made from 100 percent Arabica beans in a variety of flavors, such as Breakfast Blend, Serious Dark Roast, 100 percent Colombian and Hazelnut.
"Sheetz has a legacy of innovation, customer focus and employee development," Sheetz said. "The company's mission today is meeting the needs of customers on the go by providing fast and friendly service, quality products in clean and convenient locations."
Sheetz operates more than 350 convenience locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. All Sheetz convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
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