In front of nearly 300 convenience store industry retailers and suppliers, Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops, accepted Convenience Store Decisions’ 2012 Convenience Store Chain of the Year award at a banquet in Las Vegas.
Tedeschi is CSD’s 23rd Chain of the Year winner, the oldest and most prestigious award offered in the convenience store industry. As is the Chain of the Year tradition, the award was presented to Peter Tedeschi by the previous year’s winner, Matt Thornton, president and CEO of Thorntons Inc.
“To be considered for this award is gratifying, but to win this award is nothing short of humbling,” Peter Tedeschi said upon accepting the award, which is considered the gold standard in convenience retailing. “Like many of our predecessors that have earned the Chain of the Year distinction, Tedeschi’s has a passion for what we do at every level of our company. We have created a culture committed to teamwork and collaboration, and we are focused on people, employees, business partners and our customers.”
So who is the company we are honoring? Talk to employees and members of the communities where Tedeschi operates and you will hear terms like honorable, compassionate, committed and a wonderful company to work for. Such adjectives have typically eluded Big Oil companies through the years, but have become competitive distinctions for family-operated convenience store chains.
Tedeschi prides itself on its family roots, compassion for employees and its prolific ability to connect with its customers all day every day.
But great service is just one piece of the pie. Tedeschi has built a rock solid reputation as a top marketer and employer throughout the industry. That all begins with the decades of family leadership. The company is run today by Peter Tedeschi, the grandson of company founder Angelo Tedeschi. During our chain of the year dinner past company leaders, including John Ransom, the first president of Tedeschi’s convenience store business; Charlie Fitzgibbons, the former company president; and Allen Reardon, senior vice president of human resources, were on hand to join in the celebration.
A Deserving Honor
Attendees learned firsthand that Tedeschi is a company that lives by its motto “proud of our past, and focused on the future.” As it prepares for its 90th anniversary, committed employees represent the heart and soul of the chain, working together in a corporate culture based on strong family values. This focus has allowed the chain to grow to 193 stores and expand mightily in key areas, such as foodservice and new products.
While many retailers struggled in a weakened economy, the Chain of the Year award caps a busy year of growth for Tedeschi. During the year, the chain tripled its capital expenditures to upgrade stores, acquire new properties, further its investment in a company-owned commissary and continue rolling out its extensive line of proprietary products.
Tedeschi’s growth has been wide and varied. In my conversations with Peter Tedeschi, he made it clear that he, along with other industry leaders recognized several years ago, felt the industry was changing; that profits from fuel and tobacco weren’t going to be enough to sustain the organization in the future; and that success and growth would need to come by offering customers a unique and compelling value proposition.
Peter strongly believes and often talks about the power of the brand. With his family name top of mind with every customer that enters the store, Tedeschi cherishes this relationship with consumers and always goes the extra mile to exceed their expectations.
“My fellow employees, management team and franchisees do whatever is necessary to make us a better company each and every day,” he told me. Just walk into a Tedeschi store and you’ll see how committed the company is to the customers it serves.
On behalf of Convenience Store Decisions and our Chain of the Year nominating committee, I salute the Tedeschi team for its outstanding work.