Rutter’s Readies For Concept Store Opening

Pennsylvania c-store chain Rutter’s Farm Stores is gearing up for the October opening of its concept store in Penn Township, Pa., The Hanover Evening Sun reported.

Made-to-order, omelets, fajitas, wok stir-fry, music and accent lighting will all be key elements at the new location, the newspaper reported.

Construction crews will begin work on the 5,200-square-foot store in the coming weeks after they raze a building and a house currently on the site. The new store will replace a much smaller 1,500- square- foot store nearby and will include a car wash and 16 fuel pumps.

The slicked-up version, the newspaper said, is a far cry from the little-box, harshly lighted convenience store of yesteryear. It’s part of Rutter’s ambitious growth strategy in its 40-year history.

This year alone the company is investing more than $55 million to build five more stores and replace five others with the more modern concept. The family-owned chain operates about 50 convenience stores in York, Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and Lancaster counties.

CEO and president Scott Hartman told the newspaper that company representatives thought of the idea to add wok cooking after a visit last year to Ireland, which is known for having "very interesting and progressive" convenience stores.

“We have had a very nice response, some surprised responses as people didn’t expect to see that level of cooking and other extensive offerings,” Hartman said. "The response has been favorable."

Patrons can select their own ingredients for omelets, stir-fry dishes, and fajitas as well as choose among a variety of sandwiches, wraps and subs. The store also will feature freshly made bread, a premium coffee island, a seating area and a surcharge-free M&T Bank ATM, according to the company’s Web site.

Open 24 hours, the updated stores include open ceilings, a lot of floor and wall tiles, and bathrooms with floating ceilings. The "green" design includes a white roof that will keep the building cooler while reducing energy demand.

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