Big changes are afoot in the little town of Claysburg, Pa., after Sheetz Inc. this week unveiled its 140,000-square-foot Sheetz Bros. Kitchen, a state-of-the-art kitchen facility that will provide ready-to-eat, fresh foods to the company’s 350 stores in six states.
The $46 million facility will produce new ready-to-eat and innovate food products that will be delivered fresh daily to Sheetz c-stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.
The Kitchen has plans for several new bakery items, and the bakery itself will produce a new variety of Shweetz donuts, cookies, muffins and cinnamon rolls. Biscuits, sub rolls, hamburger and hot dog rolls will also be made and shipped fresh daily.
Sheetz Bros. Kitchen is a completely new distribution network for Sheetz, as it will include a dedicated fleet of delivery trucks and drivers who work solely for the Kitchen and make fresh deliveries every day to every store, the company said.
This facility will change the way we do business,” said Stan Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz. “It will allow us to expand our offer and give more choices to our customers.”
A large part of the decision to develop the new division of the company was made as a way to simplify tasks for employees at the stores, ultimately allowing them more time on the floor and more time improving customer service, the company said.
The company’s Made To Order ingredients will now be prepared at the new facility. The centralized production of the ingredients will provide higher quality and more consistency in how stores make MTO menu items, and the system will also allow for more efficient work by store employees because it takes some of the complexities out of their daily routines.
“Our mission of Total Customer Focus is always in the foreground of any decisions we make about the stores,” Sheetz said. “Filling condiment bottles, baking sub rolls and cookies, and prepping of other ingredients is time consuming. By moving these tasks to the kitchen facility, we make the in-store routine easier and free up our employees to be out front serving customers.”
Additionally, a new MTgo! line of menu items that includes grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and yogurt parfaits will be made at the kitchen and delivered fresh daily.
The project has been five years in the making, and it will create more than 450 jobs in the next five years, including production employees, drivers and administrative personnel.
It was developed with help from several key federal, state, county and local governmental agencies, while The Altoona Blair County Development Corporation was also instrumental in helping complete Sheetz Bros. Kitchen. Sheetz is headquartered in Altoona, Pa.
“ABCD Corp. is proud to have the continued opportunity to partner with the entire Sheetz family and corporate team in their commitment and investment to the Blair County Area and the I-99 Corridor,” said Martin J. Marasco, president and CEO of ABCD Corp. “We consider our collaborative efforts for economic development here at ABCD Corp. an item of great pride, and the Sheetz Bros. Kitchen project demonstrated this effort perfectly. Through the combined vision, goals and efforts from federal, state, county and township agencies along with the business and financial institutions, we were able to pull together all of our resource towards making this project a realization.”
Sheetz Bros. Kitchen will be part of the Sheetz Distribution Services division, led by Ray Ryan, executive vice president of distribution services, as well as Darrin Pohar, director of distribution service, and Jarrod Sharpe, commissary manager.
Sheetz will host a press conference at the new facility on July 14 at 11 a.m.