Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013 - (Page T50)

Retail Tiger Fuel Company has been serving central Virginia since 1982, and its Gourmet-to-Go program has been going strong for 22 years. lottesville, Va., and its selection of freshly-made deli sandwiches have earned it the distinction of being “America’s first gourmet gas station,” according to District Manager Gordon Sutton. “Our delis have received a lot of critical acclaim over the years. Just recently we were featured in Bon Appetit magazine as one of America’s top 16 restaurants in old or still functioning gas stations,” Sutton adds. Tiger Fuel has been serving central Virginia since 1982, providing customers with fuel, car washes, convenience stores and home heating and propane products. The company has grown steadily over the last 30 years, and Sutton says that this is due in large part to the quality and service customers find at its retail convenience store locations. Having the advantages Tiger Fuel Company has is crucial when considering the scope of the competition it faces. The company’s retail operations have to compete with large-scale national players as well as smaller competitors, and Sutton says the market becomes more crowded every day. “I would say that more and more, at least on the fuel side, the big-box retailers like Sam’s Club and Kroger have really made things hard for us in our market,” he says. People Power TIGER FUEL COMPANY More Than Fast Tiger Fuel Company says its convenience store locations offer customers gourmet choices. Gordon Sutton, district manager Charlottesville, Va. 50 M ost convenience store chains focus all of their energies on little more than convenience, offering customers packaged snacks and sandwiches aimed at getting them in and out of the stores quickly. Tiger Fuel Company, on the other hand, had the notion of giving customers more than food made with speed in mind. The company introduced its Gourmet-to-Go program nearly 22 years ago at its Bellair Market location in Char- September/October 2013 Nevertheless, Tiger Fuel Company has several advantages over its competition, and Sutton says they start with the people it employs at its stores all the way up to the front office. “The biggest thing is our people, our employees and our customer service,” Sutton says. The company believes strongly in hiring only those people who will make exemplary representatives, so it emphasizes the interview process. Sutton says Tiger Fuel Company’s upper management is heavily involved in this process. “If you’re going to come work for us, you’re going to interview with me or one of our other district managers,” he says, adding that all new employees are required to undergo training through the company’s “The Tiger Way” program. “We take that very seriously and we have a lot of pride in the people that we have working in the stores,” Sutton adds. After the strength of its people, Tiger Fuel Company’s other advantage is the quality of the products

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013
BLE 2013
Cyber Defense
Looney Tunes
The Biggest Loser
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
LeBlanc’s Food Stores
Clark Appliance
16 Handles
Cycle Gear
Wedge Community Co-op
All-Rite Construction Inc.
Radio Shack
Terraco Inc.
New & Notable
Focus on Convenience Stores
Bagels or Bookcases
Healthy Food
NACS 2013
Casey’s General Store
Monarch Custom Beverages
Craig Distributing
Nouria Energy
Maritime Farms
Speedy Q Markets
Parker Cos.
Orton Oil
The Linn Cos.
Tiger Fuel Co.
Architec Housewares
State Oil Co.
La Vie en Rose
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2013