It’s 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday and the new Kwik Trip just off Highway 10 in Anoka is hopping. Workers in dirty jeans and safety vets are grabbing some food on the go. Residents from the nearby town homes and apartments are walking over to the store to pick up groceries. The 22 fuel pumps are seeing a steady business.
Staff are buzzing around too, quick with a friendly hello and offering up a sample of freshly cooked pizza.
“It’s more like a grocery store that sells gas out of convenience,” said store leader Bridget Field.
The new gas station and food store opened up on the busy corner of Highway 10 and Cutters Grove Avenue on Aug. 23.
Construction started in May and Kwik Trip is bringing some new life and added business to the corner.
The Anoka location is one of 20 new stores being opened by Kwik Trip, which operates in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, this year. Others soon to open include one in Blaine and two in Brooklyn Park to join the family-owned business.
Field says what sets Kwik Trip apart is the selection of fresh produce, grocery items and ready-made food available in its stores.
“Produce is delivered fresh every day,” said Field.
So are the eggs and the milk and food is cooked in a kitchen on site.
Kwik Trip’s food production is based in LaCrosse, Wis. Here the company has its own dairy, a food commissary and production facilities for water and ice.
By producing many of the items itself and cutting out the middle man, the savings are passed on to the customer.
The company has its own brand for most items, including potato chips, sports drinks, nuts and baking.
With 40 employees staffing the 24-hour Anoka Kwik Trip, Field said more than 30 were new hires that started in May and spent the summer training in other north metro locations.
“We had over 800 applications for this store,” said Field.
She has spent the last three years working for Kwik Trip and the Andover resident has been impressed by the company.
“I love the relationships I have built with my coworkers and the customers,” said Field. “You get to know your regulars, you know their kids and their families.”
She explained that Kwik Trip retains 70 percent of its workforce, more than double the 30 percent standard in its industry. She said higher than average starting wage and other benefits including the company sharing 40 percent of its annual profits with its employees are part of a long list of perks.
“They let us run the stores as an entrepreneurship,” said Field. “Everyone has the same expectations but the company really lets you put your stamp on it.”
Mandy Moran Froemming is at firstname.lastname@example.org