Scott Hartman said there's no greater example to illustrate how far the company and industry have progressed than to visit the sites of two Rutter's locations that are less than a mile apart.
The one at 35 N. Main St. in Jacobus is "more than 20 years old and is small by today's standards. It was one of our first stores," said Hartman, president of Rutter's Farm Stores.
Four gas pumps are in that location's front lot, and customers can choose among a handful of seating options inside.
By contrast, the Rutter's nearing completion at the intersection of Susquehanna Trail and Reynolds Mill Road in Loganville will be one of the largest convenience stores in the company's retail fleet.
"There might be only one of our stores that's bigger," he said.
The 5,700-square-foot store, set to open in mid-May, will offer touch screens for ordering, seating for 20, and feature 18 gas pumps and seven diesel pumps in its front lot.
Expanded, sophisticated seating areas are one of the convenience store industry trends, he said. "Food service is one of the key areas that keeps growing, and that drives the need for more seating," he said.
The store will also include a kiosk offering 16 soft drink options, six frozen beverage flavors and two self-serve milkshake machines. Premium coffee islands and a no-surcharge M&T Bank ATM will also be inside the store, which offers free Wi-Fi, as do all Rutter's stores.
The York-based company chose to build in Loganville because "it's a growing area.
Rutter's broke ground there late last fall and is building its new store with many environmentally-friendly attributes, he said, including LED exterior lighting, instant hot water heaters, skylights, sensors to adjust lighting inside the store, a white reflective roof and more.
"Going green in business is a good thing because it's energy efficient and smart economics," he said. "And customers like it too."
Customers may also like that it's planned as a 24-hour store, he said.
To cover those three shifts, Rutter's is holding a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Jacobus store, interviewing candidates to fill 35 positions with a starting salary of $8.75 per hour.
As it inches closer to the grand opening of its 57th store next month, the company is eyeing three other sites in the region.
Hartman wouldn't reveal specific locations other than "Central Pennsylvania," but he did say there are "plans for more."
"There are three more stores in some phase of planning and approval right now," he said.
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