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EAST GOSHEN, Pa. -- Next month, Chester County's second Swiss Farms drive-thru grocery store is scheduled to open across the street from the local Wawa, and it is causing many customers to rethink their usual convenience stops, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Ronnie Braverman told the paper he is excited that he can soon pick up milk at the barn- and silo-shaped drive-thru grocery store, even though he's used to going to the Wawa next door out of "convenience and habit."
Braverman stops at Wawa daily for a paper, coffee and sometimes milk on the way home from work. Most of the time, he encounters someone he knows, he said. "It's almost like a ritual," Braverman, 40, told the Inquirer.
For zoning reasons, the East Goshen Swiss Farms sports a green roof instead of its traditional red, but the company told the paper customers like Braverman will still recognize it and opt to shop from their cars.
Swiss Farms director of operations Rob Coldwell explained its choice of the location: "You can't run from the 800-pound-gorilla, and that's what Wawa is," he told the paper.
Swiss Farms focuses on milk, bread, egg and other products that customers need for fill-in shopping. While Wawa also sells these products, Coldwell and CEO Ed Costantini noted that the two brands had coexisted within walking distance in Delco, Pa. In addition, they told the paper that Wawa, which often focuses on gasoline and consumables, has a different market.
The Swiss Farms store will also offer fresh Italian food, prepared by Ristorante Primavera of Wayne, Pa.
For customers like Braverman, they will have more options.
"It all depends what I need," Braverman told the paper, adding that he'll stop at Swiss Farms for milk, but not for a hotter beverage. "You can't get out of the car, and I don't like other people making my coffee," he said.
Richard George, a professor of food marketing at St. Joseph's University, said the companies can exist together.
"I think Swiss Farms can slide underneath the radar," George said, adding that a smaller organization could adjust quicker to changes in the market.