(from C-Store Dive 03/20/2024 article)

Dive Brief:

– Weigel’s is building its first-ever food commissary, which will also be the convenience retailer’s largest manufacturing facility to date, Elizabeth Hoffer, the company’s vice president of food and beverage, said via email.

– The 110,000-square-foot facility will be located in Loudon, Tennessee, about 40 miles southwest of Weigel’s headquarters in Powell. Weigel’s broke ground on the facility in February and plans to open it the first week of December, Hoffer said.

– News of Weigel’s food commissary and largest manufacturing facility comes less than a year after the convenience retailer opened its biggest convenience store to date, a 6,400-square-foot location in Piney Flats, Tennessee.

Dive Insight:
Weigel’s first commissary will mainly be used for preparing food for its c-stores as well as some distribution purposes, Hoffer said. It is the company’s third manufacturing facility to date, after its bakery and dairy, she noted. In Loudon, Weigel’s already operates two convenience stores, according to its website.

Weigel’s is collaborating with planning, engineering and construction firm CMC Design Build Inc. on its new commissary, according to a LinkedIn post from T. Kent Johnson, project executive for the Quincy, Massachusetts-based company.

When Weigel’s opened its biggest convenience store last year, the company noted that fresh food played a starring role. The store features its Weigel’s Kitchen foodservice program, which includes items across all dayparts, such as fried chicken, pizza, salads, sub sandwiches, breakfast burritos and meat-filled biscuits.

Weigel’s plan to build both its largest store and largest manufacturing facility follow a recent trend across the industry, with the spike in traditional retailers increasingly investing in travel centers. Supersizing their stores has offered retailers the opportunity to boost margins amid evolving consumer and economic demands, experts have said.

Founded in 1931, Weigel’s operates nearly 80 convenience stores across Eastern Tennessee.


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