It seems like every week there’s an announcement of a convenience store opening; the primacy of chains like Wawa, Quick Chek, Circle K, and 7-Eleven is under assault as more brands muscle their way into New Jersey.

Farm Stores, a convenience store chain whose distinction is its drive through, has opened a new store in Newton, joining its other two in Toms River and Beachwood.

The stores have a distinctive red barn-like appearance and carry the types of items you expect from a convenience store as well as prepared foods like soups, sandwiches, and empanadas. The difference is you order either online or at the window and then the items are delivered to your car. According to their website: we give you the freshest products in the most convenient manner: the equivalent of a drive-thru supermarket express lane. 

The chain is headquartered in Florida and has 50 stores in that state but has started a franchising campaign to extend the brand throughout the Northeast.

It joins another relatively new entrant in the convenience store wars in New Jersey, Royal Farms, a gas station/fried chicken chain. Royal Farms is growing from its base in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.

They have a ways to go to catch the market leaders: Wawa has 269 locations in New Jersey and Quick Chek has 159 stores and both chains continue to expand 7-Eleven has over 350 stores in New Jersey. It is estimated that the Garden State has over 3,200 convenience stores, not counting mom and pop stores.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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