In front of nearly 300 convenience store industry retailers and suppliers, Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops, accepted Convenience Store Decisions’ 2012 Convenience Store Chain of the Year award at a banquet in Las Vegas.
Tedeschi’s is CSD’s 23rd Chain of the Year winner, the oldest and most prestigious award offered in the convenience store industry. As is the Chain of the Year tradition, the award was presented to Peter Tedeschi from the previous year’s winner, Matt Thornton, president and CEO of Thorntons Inc.
“To be considered for this award is gratifying, but to win this award is nothing short of humbling,” Peter Tedeschi said upon accepting the award, which is considered the gold standard in convenience retailing. “Like many of our predecessors that have earned the Chain of the Year distinction, Tedeschi’s has a passion for what we do at every level of our company. We have created a culture committed to teamwork and collaboration, and we are focused on people, employees, business partners and our customers.”
Tedeschi Food Shops is a company that lives by its motto “proud of our past, and focused on the future.” As it prepares for its 90th anniversary, committed employees represent the heart and soul of the chain, working together in a corporate culture, based on strong family values. This focus has allowed the chain to grow to 192 stores and expand mightily in key areas such as foodservice and new products.
“While many retailers struggled in a weakened economy, the Chain of the Year award caps a busy year of growth for Tedeschi’s,” said CSD Editor John Lofstock. “During the year, the chain tripled its capital expenditures to upgrade stores, acquire new properties, further its investment in a company-owned commissary to grow the TD’s Deli brand and continued rolling out its extensive line of proprietary products.”
The company, founded by Peter’s grandfather Angelo Tedeschi in 1923, promotes an employee-centric business environment that encourages community engagement, and empowers employees to operate customer-centric stores. In the words of Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Joe Hamza, “We strive to provide our customers with a shopping experience, instead of a shopping transaction.”
Tedeschi’s growth has been wide and varied. “In my conversations with Peter Tedeschi, he made it clear that he, along with other industry leaders recognized several years ago that the industry was changing; that profits from fuel and tobacco weren’t going to be enough to sustain the organization in the future, and that success and growth would need to come by offering customers a unique and compelling value proposition,” Lofstock said. “As such, the company began aggressively reinvesting in its future by acquiring even better locations, renovating existing stores to attract nontraditional c-store customers, such as women and those looking for healthy foods, engaging the community with exciting promotional activity and solidifying its in-store offering with a well-rounded product mix.”
Tedeschi’s feels so strongly about offering unique snacks and healthy, fresh foodservice solutions that it purchased its very own commissary so that it could create and offer products of a variety and quality that manufacturers could not provide them. This dynamic offering includes a new selection of whole grain, organic, gluten-free and low sugar, health-centric snacks, sandwiches and entrees aimed at customers with special nutritional needs or simply those who are looking for more wholesome foods.
“Peter Tedeschi strongly believes and often talks about the power of the brand. With his family name top of mind with every customer that enters the store, Tedeschi cherishes this relationship with consumers and always goes the extra mile to exceed their expectations,” Lofstock said.
In addition to dozens of Tedeschi employees and hundreds of industry retailers and suppliers, Peter Tedeschi took a moment to recognize the contributions of the chain’s past leaders, all of whom were in attendance: John Ransom, the first president of Tedeschi’s convenience store business; Charlie Fitzgibbons, the former company president; and Allen Reardon, senior vice president of human resources.
“These great leaders of our company were instrumental in keeping Angelo’s principle’s alive so that we could continue his legacy,” Tedeschi said. “I’d like to think that Angelo would be proud of the company we have become today.”