The New Jersey convenience store market is about to get more crowded and more convenient.
Farm Stores, with its headquarters and most of its store locations in Florida, is expanding its "convenient drive-thru" franchise to the Northeast.
The franchise chain will celebrate its newest location in Newton, the state's third, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday.
The unique red and white drive-thru grocery store, bakery and fast-food restaurant opened its first location in Toms River in July followed by a second in Beachwood. The Newton store at 187 Main St., has been open for about two months, said John Byun of the company's New Jersey franchise team.
Groceries can be pre-ordered online or at the store similar to fast food restaurant drive-thrus. Instead of the faceless intercom system, Farm Stores have a sliding door that is opened by an employee who takes the order. Employees then deliver the groceries to the vehicle, simple, said Byun.
In Toms River, the red and white structure adorned with its signature black and white cow, was created out of shipping containers. In Newton, a Main Street bank was renovated.
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New to New Jersey, the company, which claims to have been "a convenient last stop on the way home for families for nearly 60 years," was founded in 1935 as Land O' Sun Dairies, Inc. It started out producing and selling milk, ice cream and butter under the "Land O' Sun" name, according to the company's website.
In 1957, the company began to offer franchise opportunities. With almost 50 stores in Florida, the company has expanded to other states with about a dozen stores in Pennsylvania, a few in New York and New Jersey and one each in Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia and Connecticut.
Along with the typical convenience store fare, baked goods and dairy items, the stores also sell prepared foods, including soups, sandwiches, empanadas, cheese sticks, "ham and cheese sweet buns" and croquettes.
The Newton ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. followed by a celebration, which includes specials, samples "fun for the whole family."
New Jersey is home to a number of convenience store chains including Wawa, QuickChek, CircleK and 7-Eleven.
This article originally appeared on New Jersey Herald: Farm Stores drive-thru convenience store opens new location in NJ