When Peter Bruckel built his first gas station in 1995 in Avon, N.Y., it was enough just to call it Avon Mobil, with a convenience store attached and a car wash facility. Another 16 locations followed with a similar concept.
As time passed and a new generation of the family became involved, so did the idea of branding the business.
“We wanted to get away from the old notion of gas stations, truck stops and c-stores,” notes Ken Perelli, Bruckel’s son-in-law and VP and Chief Operating Officer of parent company, Pemm LLC (Avon, N.Y.).
The result included turning the original Avon Mobil location into a Quicklees Travel Center, a combination of leisurely roadside dining and a place to rest for vacationers; eating and shopping for locals; and a practical stop for over-the-road truck drivers.
In Avon, a clean and bright interior welcomes visitors. The food court, built around a Dunkin’ Donuts (Canton, Mass.) and a Calabresella New York-style diner (a Rochester, N.Y.-area landmark), has multiple tables and chairs, leather loungers, a fireplace, big-screen TV and a media player that constantly scrolls through local weather and driving conditions. There’s even a laundromat.
What Quicklees has formally named “The Truck Stop” has dedicated gas pumps, fluids specific to trucks, a service center, a parking lot with a CAT scale (for truckers to certify the weight of their loads) and showers for the long-haul drivers’ convenience.
Kiosks around the main room display all kinds of merchandise, from souvenirs, electronics, appliances, sweatshirts and plush toys, to items for truckers’ needs – hazard signs, repair items and road flares.
“For a lot of drivers, this is the place they do their Christmas shopping, bring home souvenirs for their kids and appliances for their homes,” says Perelli. “They may not get to their local Best Buy for a few months.”
Stylized clock faces are repeated throughout the space, the hands at 10 minutes after 10 o’clock in the shape of a checkmark, referencing the Quicklees logo. “They’re meant to support our name, as a place of speed, efficiency and quick in-and-out,” says Perelli. “But we also want to be inviting. If people aren’t in a hurry, we didn’t want to create the feel of a place that wants you to leave.”
Quicklees, Avon, N.Y.
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