uptowngrocery

Buy for Less, Super Mercado and Uptown Grocery Co. serve the diverse population of the Oklahoma City metro area with fresh products and excellent customer service.

By Stephanie Crets

Husband-and-wife team Hank and Susan Binkowski have been running a series of grocery stores across the Oklahoma City metro area since 1988. They’ve gradually expanded over the last 28 years and now own nine Buy for Less stores, four Super Mercados and two Uptown Grocery Co. locations.

Every store is different, catering to the demographic area it serves, but still maintaining its commitment to selling fresh, diverse and economical food products. “We try to take a location where we have a store or a projected store and marry it to the community it’s in,” President and CEO Hank Binkowski says. “The differences are all over the demographic board, but we have some services that are limited, depending on the store.”

The Uptown Grocery locations tend to be the most abundant in services with event planning, a floral business and catering services for weddings and wakes. In addition, they offer a plentiful amount of organic products, but customers can still find everyday groceries as well. It’s also become a place for a variety of people to spend time drinking coffee, having a glass of wine, attending a cooking class or even holding meetings.

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Doug Williams 2014 Suit

W Diamond Group brings enthusiasm to the world of men’s fashion and gives back to its community through employment initiatives.

By Stephanie Crets

Suits are a staple of men’s fashion and continuously evolve with the times and trends. Sometimes they’re long or short, lapels are wider or thinner and sometimes there are two buttons instead of three. “The real evolution and expectation today from the consumer, comes down to comfort and performance,” owner and CEO of W Diamond Group Corporation Doug Williams says. “Whether it’s offering fabrics that have stretch materials to create comfort or adding a hidden pocket to hold a smartphone, we’re doing that. We adapt the inner workings of a suit to how the consumer lives his life today.”

When it comes to W Diamond Group’s customer, it’s a broad range from the college kid needing his first interview suit to the professional banker and older. The company sells three distinct garment fits: the Chicago model for the more mature customer, the New York model that’s relevant to all customers and the Los Angeles model, which has trimmer fit, shorter body and tailored to a younger, fashion-forward customer.

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clarkspumpnshop

Building ties to its communities and investing in technology and facilities are part of the reasons why Clark’s Pump-N-Shop continues to grow.

By Eric Slack

Started more than 30 years ago in 1980 by John W. Clark and Diana Clark, Clark’s Pump-N-Shop has grown into a 63-store chain branded as Marathon and BP. Now co-owned by John’s sons, Rick and Brent (a third brother, Rodney, was also an owner but he passed away in January), the company’s locations can be found in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Florida. Its footprint includes six car washes, six stores with Krispy Krunchy Chicken, three Clark’s Café’s, and 16 stores that have specialize in offering a grab-and-go menu.

“The big reason for our success is the 650 people that we employ,” co-owner Rick Clark says. “They show up every day to welcome our customers and keep our stores clean and appealing. We take great pride in customer service and clean stores.”

weigels

Weigel’s is updating its stores for millennials while holding onto the old-fashioned service and community involvement that customers expect.
By Tim O’Connor

To be a manager of one of Weigel’s Tennessee convenience stores, one must first be a Weigel’s employee. The company does not hire outsiders to run its locations. That restriction is one of the ways Weigel’s ensures its stores adhere it its customer service standards and rewards employees who embody its culture.

Weigel’s operates with a servant leadership philosophy. “We’re nothing without the team members that work in the store,” President Ken McMullen says. “They’re the heartbeat of the company.” Weigel’s executives see their job as to support the in-store employees. From the first day on the job, Weigel’s workers are instilled with the idea that they are one of the most important pieces of the company. If they come to Weigel’s with the mindset of making customers happy then they are in the right place, McMullen adds. “We really believe in our team members and they have a high level of empowerment to do what they need to do to service the customer.

Weigel’s prides itself as a convenience store company with old school values and a new school approach. “We are a premium store but we’re also your neighborhood store,” Charlotte Havely, director of marketing, says. “There’s a stereotype when it comes to a gas station. We defy that.” Every call to the company is still answered by a live person, a sign of Weigel’s commitment to customer service. At the same time, the company has invested in mobile apps and a loyalty program befitting of the digital age.

tobaccosuperstore

Tobacco Superstore has become one of the largest cigarette and tobacco retailers in the United States.

By Alan Dorich

Tobacco Superstore Inc. creates a friendly atmosphere in each of its locations, CFO and COO Joe Marelle says. In fact, some customers frequent its stores because they are used to its employees’ friendly faces, he says.

Those employees not only wait on the customer, but go the extra step of asking them about their day. “[That’s true] especially in our small town stores,” Marelle says. “We try to create a neighborhood atmosphere for the adult consumer.”

Based in Forrest City, Ark., Tobacco Superstore has 88 locations in four states that sell cigarettes, vapor and electronic cigarettes, premium cigars, pipe tobacco, moist snuff, food and beverages. Founder David Cohn founded the company in 1993 with a vision of opening the largest cigarette and tobacco store in the South.

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DutchWarFarm

Pennsylvania-based Dutch-Way Farm Market serves its community through quality initiatives, unique recipe offerings and excellent customer service.

By Stephanie Crets

Through quality initiatives and top-notch service, Dutch-Way Farm Market always wants to do right by the customer. The company does that by serving customers in its three locations in Pennsylvania: Myerstown grocery store and restaurant; Gap grocery store, restaurant and hardware store; and Schaefferstown grocery store and restaurant – all under the Dutch-Way banner.

Founded in 1972, Dutch-Way began as a farmer’s market that grew into a supermarket with a small, diner-style restaurant attached to the building. The current owners, Rich High, Cliff Snader and Jeff Snader, then purchased the Gap location in 1994 from the original owner, David Martin, and expanded to the other two locations in 2001.

“When they expanded and rebuilt the new Myerstown location, they went out on a limb based on some other local stores that had a larger restaurant attached to it; that’s where we started doing buffets,” Director of Operations Jason Bennett explains. “They saw an opportunity and wanted to continue to expand how we do business. As that grew and became successful, that’s when I got more involved running the Myerstown location.”

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