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Truckstop Travels: Shoemaker’s Travel Plaza Greets Customers with Nostalgic Excellence

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

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Walking into Shoemaker’s Travel Plaza in Lincoln, Nebraska, is certain to take you back to a time when fuel pumping equipment were a thing of beauty. At the location you’re greeted with an amazing collection of gasoline and diesel pumps along with a vast amount of other types of fuel industry memorabilia.

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This fall, NATSO President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Mullings and I had the pleasure of visiting the location and spending some time with Dave and Ryan Shoemaker, the father-and-son team that are running the family business.

Every time I visit Dave’s location I am filled with nostalgia, and when you speak with other customers, they reference this feeling of days from yesteryears. In addition to the numerous period pieces at the location, customers are also welcomed with a mural that allows travelers to see highlights of their journey from coast to coast. On any given day you may catch Dave explaining the landmarks along the way and the significance of each.

The location is decorated beautifully, and customer centric excellence abounds from the greeting of customers to the quick, friendly service. Operationally, customers are enjoy clean fuel pumps and restrooms. Over-the-road drivers and the traveling public want for nothing as far as product selection is concerned. All of the products are laid out in an easy-to-shop environment with everything properly departmentalized.

Additionally, Dave took great pride in building an operation that incorporated all the modern cost savings opportunities available to him at the time. From the type of lighting employed to how light itself was used to HVAC layout and other significant energy savers, Dave took advantage of new technology that can save money. Dave can be a great resource for modern energy savings. Two years ago he was kind enough to share insights with fellow independent operators at The NATSO Show 2013 in Savannah, Georgia, and he is always more than willing to share his expertise with fellow operators in Stop Watch magazine

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Read More About Shoemaker's Travel Plaza on NATSO's Website:

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/// 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.