C-Store Dive visited a site in Virginia that’s part of the chain’s $1 billion renovation program to add new life to its older locations.

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive

In the hills of Toms Brook, Virginia, a newly remodeled Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores site is presenting a bright new face to the travelers heading down nearby Interstate 81.

The store was one of the first in the company’s fleet to get a refresh as part of Love’s $1 billion store renovation project that’s rolling out across the country.

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

The view from the Toms Brook, Virginia, Love’s Travel Stop Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

The program, first announced in April 2023, is investing between $2 million and $7 million into about a third of the company’s more than 600 sites.

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

The Love’s logo on the front of the building. Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

What that means for any specific site depends on its needs, but some of the aspects being refreshed or added include a “more modern look and open concept,” the company has said, as well as the addition of open-kitchen concepts, new restaurant options and dog parks.

Certain sites will also get upgraded Speedco or Love’s Truck Care facilities. The company plans to get up to 40 of these upgrades completed this year.

These timelines will vary from store to store, depending on how many features at the site need to be updated, a Love’s spokesperson said. The upgrades at the Toms Brook store took about five months, through which the store remained open. 

Front-facing facelift

A key objective for the remodeling project is to bring older sites up to speed with their newer counterparts.

“Our stores in the last 10 years are the newest, the greatest … but everything prior to that has been around a little longer,” Love’s President Shane Wharton said in an interview earlier this year. For the site in Tom’s Brook, the building’s exterior got much of the attention. The site got fresh paint and an updated facade facing the road. 

“It kinda pops now,” said Tammy Golladay, the site’s general manager.

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

One section of the facade juts out from the building and displays a vertical version of the Love’s logo, with the main entrance to its left. On the right, a smaller sign reads “It’s the love that drives us.”

“Saying it was a major facelift is an understatement,” said Golladay.

Interior upgrades

Like the exterior touch-up, the updates inside the store provide changes shoppers will immediately notice.The store got a couple new self checkout machines in place of some of the previous manned checkout counters. Two manned checkouts still remain.

“We see a mixture of customers who like to use the self-checkouts and those who still prefer to checkout with team members,” said a Love’s spokesperson.

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

Self checkout is one of the interior updates Love’s made at the Toms Brook site. Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

The switch to self-checkout machines from manned checkouts required some reworking of the area, but now provide customers and workers more open space in the center of the store.

The final part of this update store’s update was a bathroom overhaul. 

The facilities include detailed tile and touchless features like faucets and auto-flush toilets. While they were not added as part of this upgrade, the bathrooms a the Toms Brook store also include buttons that customers can use to indicate if there is any mess that needs to be addressed by the store’s staff. Workers also check the bathroom every hour to make sure it’s up to snuff. 

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

An open kitchen

This is the second renovation the Toms Brook store has recently received. About three years ago, the interior got reworked to make space for an open kitchen. 

Toms Brook was the first Love’s to get this kitchen format, which allows customers to see employees at work making foodservice items. Before that, the kitchens were out of sight in the back of house. 

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

The Toms Brook Love’s was the first in the entire network to get an open kitchen. Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

While the open kitchen is not new to this particular location, it is one of the features being added at some other locations as part of the current renovation program. 

The Toms Brook location also includes a dog park, which is another feature that is being added to some Love’s stores. 

A fresh look inside a newly remodeled Love’s store

Love’s $1 billion renovation program is adding dog parks to other sites which have room. Jessica Loder/C-Store Dive/C-Store Dive  

It includes a small, enclosed grassy space with several benches, a picnic table and a waste receptacle where travelers can throw away their pet’s bagged waste. 

Between the two recent rounds of updates, the site has a bright and welcoming look.

“You wouldn’t know it was 21 years old,” noted Golladay. 

  • Love’s launches $1B store remodel project By Brett Dworski • April 10, 2023
  • Shane Warton talks Love’s 2024 growth plans and beyond By Brett Dworski • Feb. 22, 2024
  • Love’s outlines plans for up to 25 new stores By Jessica Loder • Jan. 26, 2024

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