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Regional Favorites Attract Customers at Bandit Truck Stop

Posted in: Truckstop Travels

Editor's note: Darren Schulte, NATSO vice president of membership, frequently visits NATSO members to review their locations and offers impactful merchandising and operations improvements. Contact Schulte at dschulte@natso.com or (915) 526-5820 to learn more about the costs and details of this service.

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To compete you have to figure out a way to be different, and Bandit Truck Stop in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, has taken a regional approach to its product offerings, which can attract locals and travelers alike.

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They prioritize their local flavor and specialties over brand name products, such as Twinkies and Ding Dongs. 

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They have whoopie pies, apple pie, Shoo Fly pies—molasses pies created by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1880s, are a regional favorite—as well as other pies from Pennsylvania. 

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Bandit is branded Sunoco on the gasoline side, which also helps attract customers within the community or those carrying the Sunoco card.

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Being the same isn’t going to get you anything, but finding products that speak to the local customers can help drive success.

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/// Did you know most weeks you can find me visiting a NATSO member truckstop location, spending three to four days, using my merchandising and operations expertise to help them grow their business? I periodically share about those great retailers I visit here on the blog. 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.