New England resident leads way to new food stop in Dickinson

On Thursday, Jan. 8, New England resident Chris Fitterer and a group of investors opened the doors to a new business in Dickinson.

HUB logo highlight

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

On Thursday, Jan. 8, New England resident Chris Fitterer and a group of investors opened the doors to a new business in Dickinson.

Located at 191 40th St. West, The Hub features a variety of amenities above and beyond your typical convenient store. Though patrons can still get gas, soda and other products, The Hub offers food from the popular Schlotsky’s Deli and Cinnabon Express.

The whole process began in 2012 when the land was initially purchased. Shortly after that Fitterer, who is President of the corporation of The Hub, brought Jared Scheeler aboard to help with the efforts. Scheeler has a background in management as the Director of Minneapolis-based Bobby & Steve’s Auto World and currently serves as the General Manager of The Hub.

Construction on the new building began at the end of April 2014 and was done by JE Dunn Construction. The design of the building was by Paragon Solutions out of Texas.

As the process of setting up shop was unfolding, both Fitterer and Scheeler knew they had to do something different to stand out above the rest of the typical convenient store stops.

“The convenient store industry has come along way over the past decade, and most of it has come in the area of food,” Scheeler said. “So we knew we needed to do that, and do it well.”

They looked at five or six different food choices, but after attending a convenient store convention in Atlanta, Ga., they saw Schlotsky’s had representation there.

Curious, Fitterer and Scheeler investigated and found out that they have blueprints for their businesses that rest inside convenient stores.

Though they had looked at all options including fast food.

Ultimately they decided that the fast-casual segment would fit better in what they were trying to create, because they believe it is an underserved market in Dickinson.

Along with the Schlotsky’s branding and food options, Cinnabon Express is a part of the package, something they said helped in deciding to go with Scholtsky’s Deli.

“That was pretty much what brought us over the hump,” Scheeler said.

To manage the restaurant portion of the establishment, they brought in Wayne Rau. Rau is knowledgeable in the food industry and has extensive experience.

“He’s by far the most experienced guy we could bring it,” Fitterer said.

Another issue that always can face businesses in the heart of the oil industry is staffing.

But according to Scheeler, after an initial slow moving applicant pool, he has not had issues up to this point.

“It’s been surprisingly positive in the area of personnel in my opinion,” Scheeler said.

Scheeler thinks the slow start could be attributed to the fact the building wasn’t completed at the time of initial interviewing and hiring.

Once people were able to go inside and look at the structure and get the feel for it, word spread quickly and the applicant submissions began to pick up.

Though the doors are freshly open, Fitterer said he sees expansion in the future.

“That’s why we brought Jared in, that’s why we brought partners in, so we can look at other locations,” Fitterer said.

Schlotsky’s Deli and Cinnabon Express are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. with The Hub’s convenient store portion being open 24 hours a day.

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