PHOTO GALLERY: What's In Store — October 2021

CEFCO, Huck's, Love's, Mirabito and Thorntons are among the retailers welcoming customers to new stores.
Melissa Kress
Senior News Editor
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NATIONAL REPORT — The convenience store industry landscape is constantly changing as chains open and close stores each week. On a regular basis, Convenience Store News highlights these comings and goings in this special roundup.

CEFCO in Kilgore, Texas

CEFCO Convenience Stores

CEFCO Convenience Stores celebrated the grand opening of its newest store located in Kilgore, Texas. A Huddle House location will be connected to the store.

Customers can find a variety of hot and cold food items, including CEFCO Kitchen made-to-order burritos, tacos and bowls, as well as hand-breaded fried chicken, pizza and breakfast sandwiches.

The 24-hour store boasts 6,054 square feet and has 55 parking spaces.


Huck's opened its new store in Newburgh, Ind., in early September. The convenience store chain partnered with GSP Retail to develop the location. The two companies paired up in 2019 to rebrand and refresh the Huck's brand and its stores. This is the third location Huck's and GSP worked on together.

GSP's work includes all interior signage, graphics, wayfinding, and LED elements as well as exterior design and installation of a new décor package which consists of oversized logos on brick, outdoor textiles, and assistance with the outdoor seating.

At 6,000 square feet — the largest store for the retailer — it is considered Huck's flagship store. The location's foodservice option includes a Huck's Kitchen featuring extensive fresh food made daily, Cluck's Chicken, Godfather's Pizza Express, a full catering menu, and third-party food delivery options.

Love's Travel Stops

Love's Travel Stops is now serving customers in Grant Park, Ill., and Mims, Fla.

The new travel stop in Grant Park is the company's 30th location in Illinois and adds more than 80 parking spaces to Kankakee County. At more than 8,000 square feet, its amenities include 33 truck parking spaces, 51 car parking spaces, five diesel bays, four showers, and laundry facilities. It also features a Chester's Chicken and Godfather's Pizza.

The Mims travel stop is Love's 19th location in Florida and adds more than 180 parking spaces to Brevard County. At more than 11,000 square feet, its amenities include 93 truck parking spaces, 87 car parking spaces, four RV parking spaces, eight diesel bays, seven showers, laundry facilities, and a dog park. It also features a Hardee's, and Speedco is set to open at a later date.

Both locations also offer bean-to-cup gourmet coffee, a Fresh Kitchen concept, and a Mobile to Go Zone.

Mirabito Convenience Stores

Mirabito rang up customers at a new location in Binghamton, N.Y., on Sept. 27. The convenience store features a kiosk ordering system and drive-thru service. Plans for an additional store in the area are under review.

RaceTrac Petroleum

Ten months after entering Alabama, RaceTrac keeps growing in the state with its third c-store. The Chelsea location on U.S. Highway 280 features on-the-go food items and fresh coffee.

The site follows openings in Gardendale and Oxford, and the retailer plans to open a location in Alabaster later this year — marking its fourth location in the state.

Soapy Joe's

Soapy Joe's rang up customers at its newest San Diego location on Sept. 15. Grand opening festivities included free Magic Joe car washes, food, prizes, and a live appearance from Soapy, the Soapy Joe mascot.


Thorntons opened its first store in the Bolingbrook community of Chicagoland on Oct. 15 and its first store in the in the Crystal Lake community on Oct. 22.

Both pump-and-go locations offers a variety of features to serve our on-the-go consumers, including: self-checkout, LED lighting for safety and energy efficiency; freshly made burritos and sandwiches prepared throughout the day in the store's onsite kitchen; a variety of beverages, including fresh bean to cup coffee and fountain beverages with nugget ice; a rear diesel island; and the new Pro Driver rewards program for professional drivers.

TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA)

TA welcomed a new TA Express travel center in Almeda, Texas, in early October. TA Express is a franchised site, formerly known as Swift Mart, and expands the operator's total nationwide network of travel centers to 276, including 43 franchised locations.

As part of the conversion to a TA Express, the site was remodeled to include new restrooms, showers, laundry facilities and a driver lounge.

TA Express Almeda offers a travel store with coffee, snacks and merchandise; 65 truck parking spaces; 25 car parking spaces; four diesel fueling positions with Diesel Exhaust Fluid on all lanes; 12 TA-branded gasoline fueling positions; three showers; a driver's lounge; and laundry facilities. A pet area is coming soon.

Food programs include Subway, Gourmet Taco Kitchen, and an on-site deli with hot and cold food options.

"Franchising our TA Express brand has allowed us to expand our network to serve more travelers," said Jon Pertchik, CEO of TA. "We are pleased to have another updated, refreshed facility for the many professional drivers and motorists passing through the Houston area."

About the Author

Melissa Kress
Melissa Kress is Senior News Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More