By Cooper Hallman
Rutter’s has opened a new convenience store and gas station in Kutztown.
The new location, which opened last month, is less than a five-minute drive away from KU, which could make it a popular off-campus food option for the community. This will be their third location to open in Berks County.
“We hope that KU students look to us to satisfy their hunger and thirst needs 24 hours a day,” said Chris Hartman, Senior Director of Fuels, Forecourt, Advertising and Construction at Rutter’s. “To give students more payment options, we’ll be accepting Bear Bucks at our new Kutztown location.”
KU students can load their account with Bear Bucks by purchasing them dollar-for-dollar. Hartman said he hopes to serve the Kutztown community through this and other ways.
“Our new location is fully staffed,” Hartman added. He said the new store will have a 29-degree beer cave, as well as spiked slushies.
Rutter’s has become the latest addition to a collection of convenience store/gas stations in Kutztown. These already include Sheetz, Turkey Hill, Weis, Giant, Exxon and others.
Scott Juliano, a KU sophomore who is president of the Supply Chain Club, wondered about the impacts of competition.
“Kutztown’s population is extremely small, and it has been declining over the last decade,” Juliano said. “ Eventually, these prices are going to get too competitive and some of the smaller gas stations will have to shut down eventually down the line, but not right now.”
Juliano added that, although gas prices are typically an uncontrollable for gas station chains, there are small adjustments that they can make in terms of competition.
“Rutter’s prices are extraordinarily low compared to their competitors,” Juliano said. “For example, the Exxon across the street is at, I believe, $4.29 [per gallon], while Rutter’s is $3.69. If that was sustainable, then why wouldn’t Exxon, Turkey Hill, Giant, and Weis all have the same prices? How long Rutter’s can sustain this remains to be seen.”
Mahed Ahmad, a junior biology commuter student on the pre-med track, thinks Rutter’s could be a convenient spot to stop for gas on his way to and from the campus.
“I haven’t been to Rutter’s before, but I see they just opened up near us,” Ahmad said.
Ahmad added that whether he will stop at Rutter’s depends on which side of the road the gas station is.
“If it’s on my side, it’s much more convenient than waiting with the turn signal to turn across traffic and if it’s not busy it makes it much easier,” he said.
Ebben Berenstein, a junior public relations major who lives at KU, said she eats at places off-campus around two to three times per week. She leaves campus for work once a week and stops for gas every two weeks.
“I choose where to stop based on how convenient it is and if it’s on the way and I don’t have to go out of my route that much,” Berenstein said “So yeah, Rutter’s would be pretty convenient.”
According to Hartman, Rutter’s has enough to set them apart from the competition. Aside from their food and gas, there is a room in the new Rutter’s location that will be a designated game room. It is currently empty.
“Video gaming terminals will be coming soon,” Hartman said, “so stay tuned.”