MUSCATINE — Kum & Go opened its new location at 501 Cedar St. at 6 a.m. Thursday morning in downtown Muscatine.

Though the chain has long had a location on Cedar, it’s old location closed to move into the new 6,200 square foot facility.

The new facility is redesigned with an emphasis on aesthetics and food selection. Kristie Bell, communications director for Kum & Go, said that this relocation is part of a larger strategy to update the chain’s facilities across the region.

“Basically we have this new store footprint that we call the Marketplace,” Bell said. “Part of our overall strategy is to provide a really consistent offering for all of our customers. As part of that, we are doing a few relocations of our stores and in some cases building brand new stores.”

The Marketplace has a few design choices that Kum & Go is bringing into its facilities. For the building's design elements, Bell said that that they focused on clean lines and raw materials.

“It doesn’t look like your typical convenience store. It’s got very modern clean lines," Bell said. “You’ve got the polished concrete floor. There are real wood accents, and the counter tops are made of quartz. It’s just a nicer kind of experience overall."

One step in the front door brings customers to the open kitchen, laid out to showcase food options.

"You go inside and you’ll see right in front of you is a big open kitchen," Bell said. "That’s really to put a focus on our fresh food offerings."

She said that the new location will have fresh pizza, "made-to-order" sandwiches and even fresh bread. In the back, there is a 300 square foot refrigerator stocked high with the store's selection of brews.

To avoid customers having to eat in their cars, the new store will have indoor and outdoor seating with charging stations and free wifi throughout the facility.

Special to the Cedar Street location is a custom ampersand right outside the store.

“In some of these facilities we are doing a custom ampersand," Bell said. "It’s sort of play on our name so we’ve made a custom ampersand for Muscatine."

Painted on it are images of Hotel Muscatine, the courthouse and a Muskies flag.

“We really want to have that relationship with customers so that we are part of their weekly or daily routine," Bell said. Even if they have to go out of their way, we want customers to want to choose Kum and Go because they know they get great service, because they know they like the food we offer."

In the end, Bell said she is pleased with the new location and the direction the chain is going.

"I think that what this store does is embody the Kum & Go brand," Bell said. "It's got everything you would expect in a convenience store and a lot of things you wouldn't."

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