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    Sheetz Opens New Store in Greenville, N.C.

    Meanwhile, store in Altoona, Pa., may again be barred from selling alcoholic beverages.

    ALTOONA, Pa. -- A 5,000-square-foot Sheetz set up shop in Greenville, N.C., and to mark its opening, the company will present a $5,000 donation to Greenville Little Leagues. This store brings the number of Sheetz locations in North Carolina to 12, and the chain's total store count to 333.

    The store opened to the public last week, and a grand opening celebration will be hosted by employees on Thursday, March 22, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. As part of the celebration, Sheetz will present the donation to the baseball organization.

    "It's exciting for us at Sheetz any time we are able to bring our latest concepts in convenience to a new area," said Louie Sheetz, executive vice president, marketing, Sheetz, Inc. "We are grateful for the opportunity to reach out to the Greenville community with another location and we are excited to show our support for Little League baseball in Greenville as well."

    The new store will feature the chain's Made-to-Order menu of cold and toasted subs and hand tossed salads. In addition, hot fries, onion rings, chicken fingers and burgers will be made to order at lower prices than previously. Self-serve milkshakes, a cold grab-and-go case and self-serve bakery are also available.

    A Sheetz Bros. Coffeez bar will also be staffed by a trained barista. There, customers can order coffee drinks including lattes, cappuccinos and mochas -- in a number of ways: hot, frozen or iced. Also available is a variety of frozen fruit smoothies. For self-serve customers, premium brewed 100 percent Arabica bean coffee is also available -- in flavors Breakfast Blend, Serious Dark Roast, 100 percent Columbian and Vanilla Nut Cream.

    Sheetz customers will order food and specialty coffees at touch screen kiosks that are located both inside the store and at the gas island.

    The Sheetz also features MasterCard PayPass technology. Customers can pay for items by tapping their card against a terminal, instead of handing their card to a cashier or swiping it themselves.

    This new location furthers the company's commitment to its mission of Total Customer Focus (TCF) -- to provide fast and friendly service, quality products and clean and convenient locations. "We look for great, high-energy people to work in our stores, and we train them to be respectful of the needs of our customers," said Sheetz.

    In other Sheetz news, the company's convenience restaurant in Altoona, Pa. may have to stop its malt beverage sales again after a petition was filed to halt sales while the company waits for an appeal to be decided at the state Supreme Court, the Altoona Mirror reported.

    The Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania (MBDA) brought a suit against the issuer of Sheetz' license -- the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) -- stating that the retail dispensing license in place at the location was not being used properly, and the chain would have to allow on premise consumption to offer take-out beer sales. When the court ruled in favor of the MBDA on Feb. 27, Sheetz was required to stop sales of alcoholic beverages at its stores.

    Two days after the ruling, the PLCB filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court, which allowed Sheetz to sell alcohol. Then, late last week, the MBDA petitioned the Commonwealth Court -- the original court that sided with the MBDA and ruled the license was being misused -- to vacate the stay that allowed the store to sell beer after the appeal was filed.

    "The PLCB took the position when it asked the Supreme Court to review that it provides an automatic stay; there is a dispute over that. We filed a motion to vacate the stay," Bob Hoffman, an attorney that represents the association, told the Mirror. "The stay will remain in effect or not remain in effect. If it remains in effect, they can continue to sell beer; if is it vacated, they must stop."

    Sheetz was not surprised by the association's petition. "This was not a surprise. What the MBDA is trying to do is prevent us from our ultimate goal of selling beer to our customers," said Mike Cortez, Sheetz vice president and general counsel.

    The ruling on whether Sheetz can sell beer in the interim is expect to come approximately a week from now, according to Hofffman. "I am optimistic they will vacate the stay," he told the paper.

    However, even if the court rules in favor of the petition, the liquor control board can ask the Supreme Court to reinstate it, the report stated.

    "The long term decision is whether Sheetz is entitled to a license and under what conditions. In the interim the Supreme Court must decide what we can do while the long term decision is being made. We are allowed to sell in the interim," Cortez said. "The MBDA is trying to win the long term decision and keep us from making sales in the interim."

    Cortez told the paper that he expects the Supreme Court to take a minimum of six months to more than a year to decide the fate of beer at Sheetz stores.

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