RICHMOND, Va. -- Though gathered to celebrate the official opening of their new central headquarters yesterday, employees of Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS) and other local dignitaries were equally enthusiastic about their hometown college basketball team making it into the Final Four. Richmond, Va., mayor Dwight Jones told the group of about 60 that it is not often he gets so much attention for being the mayor. But Virginia Commonwealth University's "Cinderella" appearance in the NCAA championship reflects the enthusiasm over the economic energy MACS is bringing to the region, he said.
MACS, one of the industry's newest players with more than 300 sites built largely from the purchase of the Uppy's convenience chain and the divestment of ExxonMobil properties, held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday for its new headquarters location dubbed its "Business Support Center."
(Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage.) The 22,000-square-foot facility consolidates four former headquarters locations into a single operations hub for the company. Grouped in this one site are its executive, marketing, accounting, trucking logistics, training and field support services.
Vintage gasoline pumps set against modern stone-and-glass architecture reflect the company's fueling heritage. As testimony to that history, Steve Uphoff, founder of Uppy's, recalled for the group the 15-year history of the company, building from multiple ExxonMobil acquisitions beginning in the 2000s.
His wife, Linda was recognized for her hard work in store operations with a plaque to be hung in the new training facility.
In addition to the training area, the new offices include a full food-and-beverage zone, a test kitchen for development of new food concepts and a technology lab for pretesting field-service systems.
Addressing the attendees--including newly hired executives hailing from 7-Eleven, ExxonMobil, Wawa and Spinx--Jim Summers, president and COO, said calling the facility a business support center emphasizes the goal of supporting employees in the field.
Summers went on to comment on other aspects of MACS' business. Most notably, a new focus on foodservice and coffee. "You'll see a lot that's new in our stores in 2011, starting with a great cup of coffee," he said, noting that the company intends to roll out a new proprietary blend in the next couple of months. Coffee "is the benchmark of the industry--that you have to be good at."
In terms of growth in store count, he said the company continues to look for strategic acquisitions. The chain, being 300 stores strong, "gives us a lot of leverage with suppliers and people who want to join us," he said.
Richmond-based MACS is a c-store operator in the Mid-Atlantic region and one of the largest ExxonMobil-branded wholesalers in the United States. Initially formed in mid-2010, MACS was created by a consumer-focused private-equity firm in North America, Catterton Partners, to acquire c-stores in the highly fragmented convenience industry. That effort began in June 2010 when MACS acquired a majority interest in Uppy's Convenience Stores Inc., and 170 convenience stores/fuel stations from ExxonMobil. Today, MACS comprises approximately 300 company-owned and dealer retail locations throughout Maryland and Virginia, in addition to its wholesale fuel distribution network,].Pictured (from left): Steven Uphoff, Jim Summers, Mayor Jones, Art Warren and Dan Gecker.