New concept for convenience store opens near Baltic
February 04. 2014 1:34PM
A convenience store under a new chain concept opened last week at the Baltic exit on Interstate 29.
“Convenience stores tend to copy each other to the point that they’re almost generic,” said Lindy Swedeen, operations manager for Big Cup Inc., which oversees Friendly’s and Coffee Cup Fuel Stops on Interstate 90. Baltic is the third Friendly’s location.
“We’re just trying to come up with a new concept that relies on a fresh presentation,” he said.
Friendly’s will bake items such as rolls and muffins on site each day and will have its own brand of pizza, also prepared on site.
“It’s our own recipes. It’s our own concepts. It’s our own way of making things,” Swedeen said. “Our motto is fresh, fast and fun.”
The company plans to expand its menu, too, and the Baltic location will be a spot where new items are introduced, he said.
Today’s customers look for freshness, Swedeen said.
“When the customer comes in, we want them to see a fresh sandwich, a fresh salad. We want them to know that a convenience store can produce a fresh product as well,” he said.
In addition to the generous food service area, the new Friendly’s also is home to a casino with video-lottery machines. The C-store sells gas, snacks, candy, pop, beer, frozen pizza, limited groceries and automotive supplies and has a F’real machine, which makes smoothies, slushies and milk shakes. Friendly’s will be adding purses, shirts and novelty items that are popular with travelers, said Whitni Baker, manager.
The convenience store, gas pumps and casino are open, and the food service will start soon, Baker said.
The gas pumps are open 24 hours, and the convenience store will be open from 5 a.m. to midnight.
Friendly’s also opened a location in Humboldt last fall, and one at the junction of highway 81 and 34 at Jake’s Corner near Winifred. The chain plans to grow, Swedeen said.
“We’re always looking for additional opportunities, and there will be more Friendly's smiles in the future,” he said.
Friendly’s near Baltic is the only convenience store on an interstate exit between Sioux Falls and Madison. Friendly’s carries Clark brand fuel supplied by Harms Oil.