Picture yourself on a road trip across the country. You pull off the highway and stop for gas at a Citgo. When you go in to pay, suddenly the zesty smell of Cajun chicken fills your nose. You weren’t expecting to buy chicken at the gas station’s convenience store, but the tantalizing display of chicken and buttery biscuits is too irresistible. And that is Krispy Krunchy Chicken’s goal.

“We believe that 50 percent of our volume comes from people walking into a convenience store with no intention of eating,” Executive Vice President Dan Shapiro says. “We try to merchandise it so that he sees it, he smells it and it looks great. And all of the sudden, he realizes he’s hungry.”

Neal Onebane, president and founder of Krispy Krunchy Chicken, purchased a chicken program from an old time convenience store chicken supplier in 1989. But he wanted to master the merchandising of it. Taking inspiration from how Popeye’s Chicken displays its product, he developed a hot food case with grates at the top to better display his new chicken product rather than having it rest inside pans.  


When it comes to warehousing and logistics services, East Coast Warehouse believes it’s not a transaction business; rather, it’s a relationship business. The New Jersey-based leader in refrigerated and ambient warehousing wants to have a close relationship with customers so they feel as if East Coast Warehouse is an extension of their own team. “We try to take away that vendor/supplier type of mentality by going above and beyond,” Vice President of Sales Rich Coppola says.

East Coast Warehouse offers customers one point of contact and one point of concentration for distribution services. “We provide that one-stop shop that allows our customers to spend less administrative time on the supply chain,” CEO Jamie Overley says. “We’re so important to our customers and we relish and we value that relationship. We realize the responsibility we have to our customers. And that’s our focus, being able to execute on that vision.”


Keeping your aging legacy retail systems running, especially when they’re locked into a proprietary mainframe, can be a challenge for established retailers trying to compete in today’s market. Legacy systems are almost always expensive; they make modernization and innovation prohibitively complex; and things get especially risky when the people who know how it all works start to retire.

Migrating to a new, standards-based technology environment can add tremendous value and improve the bottom line because today’s commoditized systems benefit from broader competition, which keeps costs low and innovation high. Delivering turnkey migrations of mission-critical, legacy retail systems to a modern, cloud or on-premises target environment is the specialty of Asysco, Inc.


Founded in 1920, Mason Brothers is a family owned, full-line wholesale grocery distributor. Today, the company is a supplier of goods and services to stores in six states, having built a strong reputation based on customer service and satisfaction. 

“Our marketshare continues to grow,” co-owner Ric Harrison says. “We have expanded to serve a base of more than 400 stores within an eight-hour drive of our headquarters.”

Customer Centered

Mason Brothers is committed to helping its customers succeed. Working with independent retailers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, Mason Brothers offers an extensive product line of more than 20,900 SKUs at competitive pricing, with cross-docking capabilities of another 20,000. 


Before the Internet, multichannel retailing was something known to only a handful of major national retailers, and the channels were limited to primarily brick and mortar and catalog sales. Today, however, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to how they interact with their favorite retailers. The prevalence of m-commerce and e-commerce purchasing has become commonplace right along with stopping in at their favorite stores.  This new consumer landscape has created some significant challenges, as well as generated numerous new opportunities for retailers.

 The new basis for retail interaction with today’s consumers spans all channels for the retailer including, brick-and-mortar stores, catalog sales, a website or even through their smartphones. A retailer is now challenged with providing the same user experience across all channels to provide a seamless experience regardless of where the consumer maybe engaged. At the same time, as more retailers court international customers through their online presence, they are exposed to added complexity in terms of international tax structures and fulfillment. Navigating this complexity alone, especially in today’s omni-connected world can be daunting to say the least. Having a partner in the game like leading global provider of retail management software, Retail Pro International (RPI), can make the task much more palpable.


After 175 years of operation, Candle-lite Company stands as the oldest continually operating candle company in the United States, CEO Calvin Johnston says. “Consumers see a lot of credibility and authenticity in our unique American heritage,” he states.  

Cincinnati-based Candle-lite Company manufactures everyday, seasonal, collectable and premium candles under the Candle-Lite Company, Essential Elements, Revere House and new Royale Classics brands. The company enjoys over a 30 percent market share in the food and drug channels for the home décor and fragrance category as reported by IRI.


Where Liberty Petroleum Distributors sees a need, it fills it. Since 1988 when it opened its first travel plaza, the company has continued to hone its skill in matching the right developments with the right locations. It started with one location in Tunkhannock, Pa., and now operates 23 locations across the state, with another on its way. Liberty caters to the motoring public traveling through Northeast Pennsylvania with travel plazas, convenience stores, tobacco stores and restaurants, such as Subway, Burger King and Tim Hortons. 

Schuettes1Some supermarkets limit the number of products that they sell, but not Schuette’s Market, owner and President Michael Schuette says. If customers cannot find an item in its stores, they just ask, and the company will order it and add it to its shelves. 

For instance, when a Hispanic family asked for Goya foods, “We got them all,” Schuette recalls, noting that the store benefited from it. “Our Hispanic business just rocketed. We are beholden to our customers.” 

Based in St. Rose, Ill., Schuette’s operates grocery stores that specialize in selling locally sourced items. Michael Schuette’s great-grandfather, Peter Schuette, started the company in 1863, after emigrating from Germany to the United States.

At the time, the country was still divided by the Civil War, and people were bartering for goods, Michael Schuette explains. “If you had eggs and you wanted a hatchet, you had to find somebody who had a hatchet who was willing to part with it for eggs,” he says.

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