Sheetz is Coming!

Anna Gribbell, Staff Writer

Sheetz is a gas station and convenience store as well as a fast-food restaurant that has become quite famous around the Midwest and East Coast of the United States and fans (called Sheetz Freakz) have been asking for Sheetz to come to Columbus. Sheetz has answered their wishes and is in the process of building locations around Columbus, the first one opening in Delaware on April 13.

 

If you’ve ever road tripped through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, or North Carolina, you’ve probably come across a Sheetz. The family-grown business brands itself through adding ‘sh’ and ‘z’ to words as a reference to the family name. If you stop by one of their locations, you’re likely to see a “shmuffins” in the baked goods section, or if you wanted to apply for a job, you will see a banner on their website for “jobz.”

 

Sheetz’s Public Relations Manager, Nick Ruffner, tells us about the company. Sheetz prides itself on being a community partner and has decided to partner with the Mid-Ohio Food Collective, which Ruffner says was a decision made very soon after it was announced that stores were coming to Columbus.

 

“Our stores actually have a program called Made To Share, which is a program that has a partnership with Feeding America, which is the largest food bank organization in the United States,” Ruffner explains. “Through that program we work with local food banks like the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to donate leftover ready-to-eat food on a weekly basis.”

 

Unfortunately, the grand openings that Sheetz has become known for, including gift card giveaways, are not possible under the new guidelines due to COVID-19. “We want to make sure that we’re keeping everybody safe. Our stores should be abiding by the rules that there should not be gatherings of more than ten people.” The gatherings of upward of 250 people just wouldn’t be safe in this time of the pandemic, so to slow the spread of COVID-19, the store will have to refrain from their normal grand opening. “We are looking forward to getting back to normal, and I am excited for Ohio to get to see [what a normal Sheetz opening] is like.”

 

Sheetz believes their store experience is different from other stores in Columbus. After visiting stores in the area, Ruffner states, “I think [Sheetz] is going to be a completely new experience for people when they step inside for the first time. [Columbus citizens] don’t know that the combination of quick-service restaurant and convenience store exists… What you don’t expect is to be able to custom order fresh, ready-to-eat food.”

 

Advertisements for Sheetz have been popping up over the past few months. You may have noticed a popup on a website you were visiting or a billboard while driving that says “You asked for it.” Keith Hall from the graphic design side of Sheetz explains that this advertisement stems from the large demand in the Columbus area. “The great thing about our move to Columbus is that we were invited,” he says. “We had been hearing from Sheetz Freakz all over social media asking why we didn’t have a location in Columbus. We take our Freakz very seriously and when we heard that call, we answered.”

 

I was able to go to visit the Delaware location during its VIP opening and got to try some food there. I enjoyed customizing my order with a bacon burger on a pretzel bun as well as a caramel and brownie milkshake.  Employees there insisted that the best menu item is  the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, which is served on a waffle bun.

 

Out of curiosity, I asked Hall what his favorite menu item is, and he said, “We recently added carved turkey to our salad options, and it’s good. It’s really, really good.”

For more information on job offerings and opening dates Sheetz, visit their website for the Columbus area here.