PHOTO GALLERY: Onvo's New Prototype Takes Flight

Formerly known as Liberty Travel Plazas, the company unveiled a flagship travel center in Dorrance Township, Pa.
Entrance to the Onvo travel center in Dorrance Township, Pa.

DORRANCE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The story of Onvo began more than 30 years ago with a truck stop outside of Scranton, Pa., in a town called Tunkhannock. Formerly known as Liberty Travel Plazas, the company developed into a hospitality enterprise that today serves traveling motorists through a network of businesses, including 36 travel plazas and gas stations, 24 quick-service and full-service restaurants, petroleum distribution, and six hotels across Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

Over the years, company executives felt that as the network expanded, the name Liberty no longer encompassed all of the things for which it wanted to be known. They wanted to update the brand to something that reflected its dedication to providing guests with a friendly and memorable experience. After a year of conceptualization and development, the Onvo brand was born.

"The name Onvo was developed during a brainstorming meeting with the company leadership. During an exercise, we came up with a list of words related to travel. Among those was the word 'convoy.' Since we serve truckers as well as four-wheeled traffic, we felt a strong affinity to the word convoy, so after some playing around with some of the letters in the word, we landed on Onvo," Harman Aulakh, marketing manager, told Convenience Store News. "We felt that as a name, Onvo represented the fun and friendly environment we like to cultivate in our stores."

The first location to debut the Onvo identity was a remodeled travel plaza in Lake Ariel, Pa., in June 2021. Recently, the company unveiled a flagship Onvo travel center in Dorrance Township, Pa. Making its debut in August 2022, this site marked the first ground-up construction of the new store prototype, and also the company's first travel center in Luzerne County.

Located off Exit 155 on Interstate 8, the 7,200-square-foot Onvo travel center features an array of products and services, including:

  • Six bean-to-cup coffee machines;
  • F'real milkshakes and other frozen and cold dispensed beverages;
  • The Beer Barn, a walk-in beer cooler;
  • A prominently featured local products section;
  • A full-size Burger King restaurant with a drive-thru;
  • Onvo-branded merchandise;
  • Two showers; and
  • Sunoco-branded fuel and truck diesel.

This location will also be home to Onvo's first electric vehicle charging units. The Dorrance Township travel plaza will feature two DC fast charging stations as part of Pennsylvania's Driving PA Forward program. They are slated to go live in mid-December.

Bridging the Past & Present

An updated store design is just one of multiple elements that make up the new identity and branding. The aesthetic of Onvo is fun and energetic, while maintaining a sleek and modern store atmosphere. Bright oranges, bold blues and energetic yellows punctuate the stores and bring a sense of playfulness, which is also incorporated with the use of a new mascot, Onvo the Owl.

"Onvo takes pride in our northeastern Pennsylvania roots, and we try to find ways to incorporate the imagery of the area into our design by pulling in elements that call back to the outdoors," Aulakh said. "When we were known as Liberty, our aesthetic relied more on that sense of locality, and we wanted to find a way to maintain some of that local connection with the Onvo brand."

As part of the rebrand, the company went live with a new loyalty program, Onvo Rewards. Designed in conjunction with Paytronix, the program launched in December 2021 alongside a new Onvo mobile app, available on both Apple and Android devices.

Members of Onvo Rewards can earn points, known as Hoots, for each in-store purchase they make. Hoots can be redeemed for rewards such as free food, drinks, snacks or fuel discounts. All customers who register for Onvo Rewards receive a welcome reward of 10 cents off per gallon of gas, up to 20 gallons, every time they fill up during their first month of membership. Additional pro- gram perks include referral rewards, birthday and anniversary rewards, and buy-five get-one-free club programs for coffee, roller grill items and fountain drinks.

Onvo Rewards members can choose whether to use a physical card, a virtual card on the app or their phone number to collect their Hoots.

"Onvo Rewards is an exciting new chapter for our company. The decision to launch a new loyalty program came from the desire to reward our most loyal customers with added benefits, while giving them an easy way to interface with their rewards," said Aulakh. "Onvo Rewards and the new Onvo app really provide customers with an intuitive and fun way to interact with their rewards program and with the brand as a whole."

Flying Into the Future

Since the rebrand, Onvo has put a lot of effort into connecting with the communities it serves and travelers alike, with an emphasis on advertising via digital channels such as email and social media, as well as through traditional marketing like fun and creative billboard campaigns.

All 36 of the company's travel plazas and gas stations have or will receive some level of remodeling or reimaging. The extent of the reimaging will vary on a store-by-store basis. Rebranding projects are expected to be completed by mid-2023.

Onvo is also expanding and focused on growing its footprint both at home in northeastern Pennsylvania and in other territories, Aulakh said. Since rebranding, the business has extended further into New York, adding two travel plazas in the greater Albany area.

About the Author

Danielle Romano
Danielle Romano is Managing Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More