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With made-to-order food just off-campus, it isn’t hard to see why Sheetz is such a hot spot for students craving that morning coffee or late-night snack.
But Sheetz hasn’t always been the prominent name that it is today.
Sheetz was founded in 1952 when Bob Sheetz bought one of his father’s dairy stores located in Altoona. In 1961, Bob hired brother Steve as a part-time worker, and by 1963, a second store was opened under the name “Sheetz Kwik Shopper.”
From there, the company continued to grow rapidly. By 1972, the company expanded to 14 stores, and in 1973 they added gas pumps and became one of the first self-serve gas stations in central Pennsylvania. By 1983, Bob and Steve opened up their 100th Sheetz location.
According to its website, Sheetz has, since 1952, grown from a small dairy/ deli in Altoona, to one of the fastest growing family-owned convenience stores in the world, with more than 437 locations across six states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina – and more than 14,500 employees.
In addition, Sheetz was ranked as the 61st Largest Private Company by Forbes in November 2012. According to a company-provided estimate on the Forbes website, Sheetz revenues topped $5.23 billion in 2011, which resulted in a revenue increase of 30.5 percent.
But what do those sales have to do with Indiana University of Pennsylvania?
Michael Zeares (sophomore, health and physical education) says that he goes to Sheetz at least twice a week.
“It’s cheap and pretty easy to get to,” Zeares said. “And the food is good.”
“It’s kind of cheap and right on campus,” said Anthony Waite (junior, exercise science). “If I was anywhere near campus, I’d probably go there.”
The cheap, made-to-order food seems to be the biggest reason students frequent the convenience store, driving up the company’s sales revenue.
Mike Adams (senior, criminology) said he has no illusions as to why he goes to Sheetz.
“I go for the food really, because it’s quick, convenient and there is a variety,” he said. “MTO all the way.”
Sheetz has found their niche as a one-stop convenience store, and there seems to be little doubt that after growing from their humble, family beginnings, they’ve found their place here at IUP.