Expressway opens new location in Heron Lake
HERON LAKE -- Staples Enterprises Inc. opened its 15th store, located in Heron Lake, on Jan. 18.
Staples Enterprises has branches in Jackson, Lakefield, Fairmont, Luverne and Westbrook, as well as locations as far away as Alden, Mankato, Marshall and Brandon, S.D.
Brent Staples, originally from the Slayton area, owns the business with his wife Nicole, and said business at the new location has been good so far.
"We've been very pleased with the warm reception we've gotten from the community. We're very happy," Brent said.
To oversee the day-to-day management of the Heron Lake location -- which operates under the name Expressway -- Scott Hecker was brought on board. A Heron Lake native, Hecker has a background in restaurant management and is glad to be working in his home town.
"We're really excited to have Scott here and think he's going to be a great leader for our location here in Heron Lake," Staples said.
With the new store, Staples said they plan to fill an unmet need in Heron Lake.
"I think we've brought some new services that were missing or needed," he added.
Some of those services include serving pizza, free Wi-Fi and seating for up to 20 people.
Expressway will also offer Cenex-brand fuel and accept Cenex-brand credit cards.
"Our fuel and gas pumps are Cenex-branded. All major credit cards and Cenex-branded cards are accepted, and we offer a five-cent per gallon discount if people use their Cenex card," Staples said.
Along with the Cenex fuels, "we've got an E85 dispenser and blender, which I think will be used quite a bit," Staples said.
On its diesel island, Expressway also has a blender pump that offers No. 1 and No. 2 diesel and various bioblends. Staples said they are "the first site in the state to have both products available in both blends."
Bioblends will be available in the spring through Minnesota Soybean Processors, Brewster, Staples said.
"If farmers want to get access to their soybeans that have been turned into biofuel, it will be in our tanks," he said.
The blender pumps will allow customers to choose from a wider variety of blends, and Staples said the pumps have already been popular with customers.
Expressway will offer customers more than just a place to fill up their vehicles. They will also offer a large selection of deli, pizza and snack items.
Breakfast items include breakfast sandwiches and burritos, Coffee House Roster coffee and bakery items like rolls, donuts and cookies -- all baked fresh daily, said Retail Marketing Director, Daric Zimmerman.
Lunch items offered often include pizza, fresh sandwiches and wraps, burgers, Philly steak sandwiches, buffalo wings, chicken strips, corn dogs and egg rolls, with the menu being changed monthly.
Expressway pizza is available as both dine-in and carry-out and comes in a variety of sizes, from personal pan to large.
To celebrate its opening, Expressway is offering a variety of daily, weekly and monthly specials.
During its first 10 days, Expressway offered all of its deli items for free so people could get a taste of what they offer, Staples said.
This week, they are offering free cappuccino and coffee to visitors. There area also current sales on large one-topping pizzas and specialty pizzas, available for dine-in or carry-out.
"That's a great value. You don't have to get in a big city to get that kind of value on a pizza," Staples said.
As with all their deli items, people can call ahead with pizza orders at (507) 793-7400.
Store hours will be 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with a 24-hour self-service pay pump available. Deli hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
"It's exciting to be open and become a part of the community, a gathering spot," Staples said.
Expressway aims to be a long-term part of the Heron Lake community and plans to be active in youth and agriculture development, he added.
"Stop by and check it out. We're doing random specials throughout the month, so stop by and see what we have," Zimmerman said.
"We're excited to be here and we can't wait to serve you. We're looking forward to serving the community," Staples said.
Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.