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Focus on the Warm Winter Feeling, Not Just the Products

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail, Operations, Truckstop Travels


Recently I had the pleasure of traveling with John Morris, vice president of S&D Coffee & Tea, through Minnesota and the Dakota’s.

It was great to see operators like Stamart #5 preparing for the winter that is upon us. The location had all the warm-you-up products for you and your truck, such as blankets, gloves, Howe’s, Power Service, ice alert thermometers, heaters, windshield wash and the like.  


When I say ALL the products you can imagine, I’m not exaggerating. But the best thing about Stamart #5 and their winter/holiday preparation was the warmth that management and staff exude. The store is full of things that anyone, whether local or interstate bound, needs to fill their vehicle or belly, but the best part is that the products are all delivered with a warm smile and a friendly, ‘Have a great day.’

I am always surprised how the look and feel of a store is the direct reflection of those that lead, manage and work the operation.

So as you prepare for the winter onslaught, the holiday rush for goodies, and the end of the fourth quarter beckoning in the new year, keep in mind that displays of knit beanies, blankets, gloves, ice scrapers, jackets, coffee thermos and winter additives are just that—displays.

The true warmth that your customers feel on a cold night in Fargo, North Dakota is promoted by you and your staff.  






/// Read more Truckstop Travels here.  

Photo Credit: Darren Schulte/NATSO

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.