A Store You Can Fly With

New NOCO store soars with traveler perks, Charlie the Butcher.

By
Michael Newman, Executive vice president

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As a third generation family-owned and -operated business that has been in western New York for nearly eight decades, NOCO Energy Corp. and NOCO Express is com­mitted to raising the bar in the continu­ously evolving convenience-store industry.

Our recently constructed NOCO Express located directly across the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheek­towaga, N.Y., afforded an opportunity to expand on our signature “store within a store” concept and debut a few new fea­tures to meet the needs of the guests who visit this location.

Due to consumer demand, we made the decision to demolish the former 1,600-square-foot store and replace it with a brand new 5,000-square-foot site. Starting with the demolition in Septem­ber 2011, the new store was built from the ground up and opened for business a little more than two months later, on Dec. 13. With better configuration for the fuel pumps, LED signage at the street and more than triple the square footage inside of the store, sales at NOCO’s latest new build continue to climb on a daily basis as we near its one-year anniversary.

Because the former store did not have any foodservice options, we looked to continue our longtime partnership with Charlie the Butcher, a western New York culinary legend. This marks the fifth Charlie the Butcher store to open within a NOCO Express; as we continue working closely with Charlie, we decided to provide guests with on-the-go meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to Charlie’s signature fresh carved beef and turkey, the store offers a hot breakfast menu and full pizza and chicken-wing offerings. Guests also have the option to select from a variety of grab-and-go items, such as our signature Nickel City Roast premium blend coffees, sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit.

Ready for Takeoff

With our proximity to the airport, we were able to introduce new amenities that simply did not make sense at our other recent new builds. This airport store, for example, features a real-time departure and arrival screen to help guests monitor flight times, as well as a kiosk where pas­sengers can check in for flights and print boarding passes. By having this available, guests who may be picking someone up from the airport or waiting for a flight can relax with a cup of coffee or grab a quick bite to eat with no charge for parking.

In addition to these consumer-friendly features, the store is the most environmentally friendly site we’ve con­structed to date. As an energy company striving to meet the needs of our custom­ers whether they are at home, at work or on the go, we are always looking for ways to manage energy in a cost-effective man­ner and by using the latest technologies.

Various green building technologies, such as low-watt LED lighting and a refrig­eration energy management system to better manage the coolers, were installed to reduce our energy consumption. A light-harvesting system uses skylights to allow natural light into the store, and an energy-control system automatically dims the in-store lighting during daylight hours on an as-needed basis. Guest feedback has been great; the natural light makes the store inviting during the day.

We also equipped this store with the infrastructure needed to accommodate charging stations for electric cars in the future. While not fully operational yet, the site is prepared for it as more electric cars start hitting the streets.

It’s very important for us to look at the future of the convenience store industry and what that means for our guests and our employees. Building a new store is not only good for business and our customer base, but it also inspires our employees who work there and instills a culture that says our company is moving in a positive direction. As we continue to enhance the NOCO Express brand and store model, our guests can still expect the high-quality projects and amenities we offer at home, at work and on the go.

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