“It was time for something new and fresh in Montevideo, so we decided to put up a travel plaza, says Robin Enevoldsen,” C-Store Manager for Montevideo-Granite Falls Co-Op. The new store, located on the edge of Montevideo, MN on West Highway 212, is the co-op’s third c-store. The co-op’s original store is on the opposite side of Montevideo on East Highway 7, and their second location is 12 miles down the road in Granite Falls.
Enevoldsen, who has worked for the co-op for 21 years, is helping to spearhead an effort to lead the organization into a new era. “During this transition and process, our general manager of 45 years retired, so not only were we going through the process of designing a new store, we were going through the process of designing a new management team, says Enevoldsen.” Her direct experience working in the c-stores over the years provided the team with insight concerning what changes should be made.
The new management team has a vision to stay up to date with technology and appeal to a younger audience. Enevoldsen states, “We built this facility and what’s here so we are able to adjust to changing technologies. Our point of sales, our ovens, everything down to our coolers—everything is digital and online. If I have a problem with my freezer, I get an alert on my phone.” The co-op is also planning on having an electric car charging station in the future.
One of the highlights of the new store is its 22-foot coffee bar. Caribou Coffee is featured on one side of bar and New England Coffee on the other. Enevoldsen explains that wants to make sure that there’s something for everybody in the community at the store—for both the younger and older generations.
Construction management services for the project were provided by Westmor Industries. Enevoldsen worked with Westmor to ensure that the construction of the new store would be a community effort. She says, “We really tried to stay with all of our local contractors. We really wanted to show this community that Montevideo-Granite Falls Co-Op is invested in the community. We’re here for you, we’re doing this for you, and we want your input.”
The store had a “soft opening” on March 30, 2017, the culmination of two years of research and six months of construction. Enevoldsen is training 17 new employees to work at the new store. “We’re loud, we’re proud and we want you to come see what we have to offer, says Enevoldsen.”
Before the project Westmor had already been the co-op’s petroleum equipment vendor, but that wasn’t the only reason the manufacturer got the job. “We didn’t choose Westmor simply because we had a relationship with Westmor. We chose Westmor because of their performance, the reputation they have,” explains Enevoldsen. She continues, “I recommend Westmor as a company to partner with one hundred percent for the customer service and their knowledgeability in this field of expertise.”