November 24, 2020

Convenience Close to Home: Fostoria C-store fits the grab-and-go lifestyle

Fostoria CenexIn Fostoria, the local C-store has been a hub of the community since the business opened in 1995. “People call this the ‘mini mall’ of Fostoria, just off the ‘mixmaster’ known as Highway 71,” said Nancy Beck, store manager.

With a 50/50 mix of locals and highway traffic, the Fostoria C-store serves a wide range of folks, including the coffee crowd that starts arriving around 5:30 a.m. “I’m a morning person, and I like the different people I get to meet each day,” said Beck, who noted that the store is also a popular meeting place for snowmobile riders who use the trails in the area.

Whether it’s a cold winter day or a hot summer afternoon, customers can find a hearty meal at the C-store to satisfy their appetite. Last spring and summer, the C-store team cooked quarter-pound hot dogs and ribeye sandwiches on an outdoor gas grill every Monday and Friday, which was a big hit. In the colder months, chili and other soups sell well. The store’s noon specials, including tacos in a bag on Tuesdays and sloppy joe sandwiches on Wednesdays, are perennially popular.

“I have a lot of flexibility to try offering new foods and specials, and I listen to what people want,” said Beck, who stated that sausage gravy and biscuits are always a top seller.

Staying in touch with changing times is important, added Beck, who has worked at the C-store since it opened. “People are a lot more cost conscious today, whether they are buying a bottle of pop or a tank of gas. We try to give them more for their money with our meal specials and other deals, like the Okoboji saver card, where we take a nickel off each gallon of fuel, up to 20 gallons.”

Some things never change, however. “Friendliness, cleanliness, and fair prices are the keys to staying competitive in this business,” said Beck, whose 10-person crew includes one other full-time team member, along with eight part-time team members. “You’ve got to care.”


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