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Ampride to show off improvements

Grand reopening is Friday

August 21, 2011
By JESSE HELLING, Messenger city editor , Messenger News

Improvements to Fort Dodge's Ampride are part of a lofty goal for W&H Cooperative Oil Co.

In short, the Humboldt-based company wants to be a leader in the convenience store game, said Bill Thomas, W&H's project manager for the Ampride remodel.

To that end, Ampride, 3243 Fifth Ave. S., has seen the addition of several new features - chief among them a drive-through window for the store's fast food segment, which serves Chester's Fried Chicken as part of its selection.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Bill Bunker, manager, works the cash register at the renovated Ampride station, 3243 Fifth Ave. S. The convenience store recently added a drive-through window for its fast-food business. A grand reopening will be held Friday.

"We're one of the first c-stores with a drive-through," said Thomas. "This is part of our innovative, aggressive approach."

According to Thomas, the drive-through window is predicted to boost food sales by at least 25 percent.

"Food was the principal thing that is going to increase sales volume for Fort Dodge," he said.

Fact Box

About Fort Dodge Ampride

The current Fort Dodge Ampride, 3243 Fifth Ave. S., was opened as the Standard All-Around Truck Stop in 1967. Silvio and Delia Ronconi built the truck stop, which featured a distinctive round shape, and owned it until 1995, when it was sold to W&H Cooperative Oil Co., of Humboldt.

The store, one of three Ampride convenience stores owned by W&H, saw remodeling in 1995 and 1998.

On the fuel side, Ampride will offer computerized blending pumps. This will allow motorists to purchase gasoline blended with ethanol at more varied percentages than generally offered at other stations, according to Thomas.

In addition to the standard 10 percent and 85 percent - commonly known as gasohol and E-85, respectively - the station will offer 15 and 30-percent ethanol blends.

These blends will be cheaper per gallon than gasohol, according to Thomas.

W&H operates five convenience stores in north central Iowa, with three Ampride stores in Fort Dodge, Eagle Grove and Humboldt.

The company plans upgrades to all its stores, but improvements will be tailored to individual communities, Thomas said.

"We get a lot of feedback from our customers," Thomas said. "We treat each and every store differently ... You can tell what you have in the store by what people are buying."

A grand reopening for the store is planned for Friday and will feature food and drink specials and other promotions.

Contact Jesse Helling at (515) 573-2141 or



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