Who is Rhodes?
Rhodes isn’t a convenience store. It’s people. People who know a customer’s favorite drink before they reach the drive-thru window. People who notice if a daily customer misses a visit because they’re under the weather. People that make dinner for a family juggling so many activities they don’t have time to cook. Through our people and relationship-focused culture, we have completely raised our customers’ expectations of the typical convenience store experience. Let our employees tell you more.
Our mission is to be a superior convenience store business; committed to excellence by creating a valuable experience for every guest and team member.
R – Respect and trust our team and guests
H – Honesty to self and others
O – Outstanding experience for every guest
D – Do what we say we will do every time
E – Empower all well-trained team members
S – Service + Execution = 101 Success
Rhodes convenience stores started in 1963 when a young, hardworking oil jobber capitalized on a highway expansion project and later discovered an emerging retail gasoline market. A second generation of management then joined the company who established internal corporate functions and energized marketing efforts creating clear distinctions from other local convenience stores. Today, Rhodes operates 29 retail stores throughout Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois while enjoying consistent growth.
Many strategic decisions and critical turning points have also contributed to the company’s long-term success. With every critical turning point that Rhodes has encountered, the same recurring theme has existed; provide quality products in a convenient manner, and most of all, build customer relationships that will keep them returning. These are the foundations that have made Rhodes a consistent, and often daily, stop for the hardworking men and women of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois.
Late 1970s – Early 1980s
Jim Maurer, formerly a service technician with LP Gas, became Rhodes Oil Company’s Office Manager. Maurer formalized financing and accounting practices while developing the company’s corporate structure, which is still used today.
Paul Dirnberger, originally a part-time cashier at a Pump-Ur-Own station, introduced bold and innovative marketing ideas to grow the chain, which primarily provided gasoline, oil, beer, cigarettes, bait, and tackle.
1986 – 1994
1990s – 2000s
Rhodes 101 Stops Convenience Stores pioneers drive-up window service in its locations, which becomes an essential feature for providing quick, convenient service to customers.
Rhodes 101 Stops introduces a proprietary charge card for retail and business accounts.
Fountain soft drinks become a popular product at Rhodes 101 Stops, making it Coca-Cola USA’s number one chain for volume soft drink sales on an incident rate.
In April, a new logo is adopted, which triggers the rebranding process. The new design focuses solely on the Rhodes name and drops “101 Convenience Stores” from the design.
In the same month, a new store design is introduced in Farmington, Mo. using a larger footprint, warmer color palette, and local photography appealing to the community which supports the store’s operation as customers and employees.
August & September 2016
Rhodes tests Street Eats, a new food truck menu, at its S. Mount Auburn Road location in Cape. Guest feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and Rhodes begins plans to introduce the same menu at a new convenience store opening in Chaffee, Mo. in January 2020.
Rhodes management team opens its first Rally’s Drive-In franchise in Jackson, Mo. The restaurant chain is known for flavorful, indulgent foods delivered to guests within minutes via drive-thru or walk-up.
Imo’s Pizza at Rhodes fundraisers generate over $75,000 for local schools and organizations since the events were introduced in March 2017. Rhodes continues to offer the fundraisers in 2020.
Rhodes and Southeast Missouri State University partner to offer Rhodes employees a 10% tuition discount to the University. The discount serves as a recruiting tool to attract new talented employees and retain current employees while encouraging them to further their education and skill sets.
Rhodes opens a newly constructed convenience store in Chaffee, Mo. The new location replaces an existing facility on the opposite side of Highway 77. It opens with Rhodes newest food concept, Streets Eats, a food truck menu.
Rhodes management team opens its second Rally’s Drive-In franchise in Sikeston, Mo. next door to its convenience store on North Main St.
The COVID-19 pandemic hits the United States. Nonessential business across the country, including the Midwest, are ordered to shut down. Convenience stores are categorized as essential businesses. Rhodes, Imo’s Pizza and Rally’s Drive-In continue providing guests with clean, safe shopping environments as their demand for take home food and household needs grow.
Rhodes also introduces “appreciation pay” for its team members. Rhodes employees earn an additional two dollars per hour to recognize their dedication to serving guests through unprecedented times. Appreciation pay continues for several weeks in the spring and early summer.
As Rhodes continues to operate through the pandemic and prepares to open three more Rally’s locations, an aggressive recruiting and hiring campaign is launched. #BuildingTogether offers the general public $500 in Rhodes gift cards for referring each new employee. New hires also receive a $600 cash bonus for joining Rhodes, and current employees receive a $600 cash bonus for referring a new employee.
Rhodes management team purchases the Rally’s Drive-In located in Farmington, Mo. The restaurant becomes Rhodes’ third location in the Rally’s franchise system.
Rhodes completes a major remodeling project at its North Sprigg St. convenience store in Cape. The location’s exterior is refinished to match Rhodes’ newly built locations. Street Eats, a food truck menu, is introduced at the location. Rhodes’ relationship and proximity to Southeast Missouri State University is reflected throughout the store’s interior finishes including recognition of its “Official Fountain Drink of SEMO Redhawks” title.
Rhodes management opens its fourth Rally’s Drive-In in Dexter, Mo. All four of its Rally’s locations were built and put into operation over a 13-month period.
The Checkers and Rally’s corporation names Rhodes management team its “2020 Rookie of the Year” among its new franchisees. The award is announced during Checkers and Rally’s virtual convention. Rhodes’ Sikeston, Mo. Rally’s location is also recognized for earning the highest first-week sales of all its 2020 new store openings.