Nice guys do finish first.
Nice N Grocery Shoppes Inc., the Canastota, N.Y. operator of 82 convenience stores, was named Convenience Store Decisions’ 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. Nice N Easy will be honored at an invitation-only gala at the Wynn Las Vegas during the NACS Show on Oct. 21.
“The last line of our mission statement says, ‘Be the Best.’ Over the years, I have always told our people to be very proud because they ARE the best,” said John MacDougall, CEO, president and founder of Nice N Easy. “I know first hand just how dedicated and accomplished Nice N Easy is as a company. This award verifies to all the people of Nice N Easy just how good they are–they are ‘the best.'”
Nice N Easy is regarded as a leader in the industry in key areas such as technology, foodservice, labor management and innovation. Over the past year the company has wrapped up a major study tracking labor expenditures, opened its first diner concept, invested in solar panels as a means for powering convenience stores and is closely examining other cutting-edge power sources.
But what makes Nice N Easy special is the connection it has with its customers. In markets throughout upstate New York, Nice N Easy stores are a beacon of innovation, freshness and quality with its upscale foodservice programs. Under the Easy Street Eatery banner, Nice N Easy offers a host of sandwiches and entrees that appeal to a wide-range of consumers.
“This is the 20th year Convenience Store Decisions has presented the Chain of the Year award, and I am proud on this anniversary to be crowning such a deserving company,” said John Lofstock, editor-in-chief and editorial director for the Convenience Store Decisions Group. “I have known John MacDougall, Fran Duskiewicz and many members of the Nice N Easy team for more than a decade, and rarely have I come across a group that works harder or is more highly respected. They are truly deserving of this special award.”
Foodservice has helped sustain the company, which operates in an upstate New York market that has been decimated by competition from Native American reservations that have slaughtered tobacco sales and reduced fuel margins. Despite the competition, Nice N Easy never wavered and saw the growth of reservation sales as a challenge to be a leaner, smarter marketer.
“This award means so much to us because it honors the chain. We wouldn’t be the company we’ve become without the hard work and dedication of the many people who represent us,” said Fran Duskiewicz, senior executive vice president of Nice N Easy. “Yes, John MacDougall puts the ‘nice’ in Nice N Easy, but never underestimate his incredible vision and creativity. It’s rare to come across someone who combines all the best traits of a successful business leader the way Mr. MacDougall does.“
In addition to its operations, Nice N Easy is one of the most respected chains in the industry. MacDougall and Duskiewicz have served as mentors and friends to upstart and experienced convenience store chains across the country and have earned a reputation for their professionalism, honesty and humility.
“You can have the best manager and the best facilities, but without outstanding leaders, you can’t win. John MacDougall and Fran Duskiewicz have thrived as leaders in this industry, which in turn makes for a great experience for employees and customers,” said Tom McIntyre, group publisher of The Convenience Store Decisions Group. “As the recipient of the 2009 Chain of the Year award, Nice N Easy continues to raise the bar and serve as an example for others throughout the industry.”
Nice N Easy will be honored on Oct. 21 at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Tickets and seating are imited. For information, contact John Lofstock at (201) 837-2177 or [email protected].
About the Chain of the Year Award
Nice N Easy is Convenience Store Decisions’ 20th Chain of the Year winner, following 2008 honoree, Chevron. Wawa Inc. was CSD’s inaugural Chain of the Year winner in 1990. Since then, CSD annually has recognized a convenience store chain that has stood apart from its peers in terms of customer service, commitment to employees and overall operational excellence. Past winners include:
1990 – Wawa Inc.
1991 – SuperAmerica
1992 – QuikTrip Corp.
1993 – Casey’s General Stores Inc.
1994 – Sheetz Inc.
1995 – Diamond Shamrock Corp.
1996 – Mapco Express
1997 – Speedway Inc.
1998 – Krause Gentle Corp.
1999 – Dairy Mart Inc.
2000 – Amerada Hess Corp.
2001 – Huck’s Food & Fuel
2002 – Petro-Canada
2003 – Exxon Mobil Corp.
2004 – Kwik Trip Inc.
2005 – 7-Eleven Inc.
2006 – Valero Energy Corp.
2007 – Alimentation Couche-Tard
2008 – Chevron Global Marketing