Note: Please see the new updates from Rogers and Mazza’s Bakery and Sheetz, Inc. at the bottom of this story.
After a week of strong public outcry from consumers in West Virginia, Sheetz, Inc. has reversed its previous decision, and will continue to carry fresh pepperoni rolls from West Virginia bakeries in stores throughout the Mountain State.
In an interview with The Clarksburg Post Thursday morning, Ryan Sheetz, Director of Brand Strategy for the company, stated that the company’s goal is to have all West Virginia stores carrying West Virginia baked and provided pepperoni rolls.
“West Virginia-based companies are going to provide West Virginia pepperoni rolls to all of our West Virginia Stores. That will remain unchanged. That is something we have heard loud and clear from our customers, and we couldn’t be happier to take that feedback to heart and execute upon it,” Sheetz stated.
To ensure product consistency and quality, Sheetz, Inc. would ideally like to identify one West Virginia bakery that would supply to all of its stores in the state. However, Ryan Sheetz stated, “I don’t know if it is feasible to get one, only because we are throughout the entire state.”
Currently, the Pennsylvania-based company works directly with three bakeries from West Virginia, including Abruzzino’s Italian Bakery, Rogers & Mazza’s Bakery, and Home Industry Bakery. The company plans to meet with all three suppliers over the next three days to clear the air and discuss the newly refined goal of having a West Virginia company supply all of the West Virginia stores with pepperoni rolls.
The company will be evaluating the West Virginia bakeries that currently service its stores, as well as searching to see what other bakeries are available in the state.
This is not the first time Sheetz has faced backlash for removing customer favorites from its stores. Previously, the decision to remove pickle chips, jalapeño poppers, and quesadillas from the store’s MTO menu created a backlash on social media.
“You make decisions as best you can and then you listen to your customers, and if they are passionate about something, then you listen to them and you bring it back. It’s a matter of balancing out what’s the right decision for our customer and what’s the right decision for our business. I couldn’t be happier that this is a core value to my family and that it’s a core value to this organization,” said Ryan Sheetz.
There is no deadline for when a final decision will be made as to which West Virginia bakeries will be chosen to distribute to stores throughout the state. Until then, the current three vendors will continue to supply to stores in West Virginia.
Sheetz said, “We are a family owned and operated business and one of the things that we are most proud of is that we are a consumer driven company. I look at the opportunity that has transpired over the last few days and frankly I’m excited that it allows us the opportunity to execute on something that is incredibly important to us, and that is listening to our customers.”
UPDATE (5:10PM): Dennis Mazza of Rogers & Mazza’s Bakery has confirmed that at today’s meeting at Sheetz headquarters in Altoona, PA, Sheetz, Inc. is looking to identify one West Virginia bakery to supply pepperoni rolls to all of their stores in West Virginia. Mazza also confirmed that Rogers & Mazza’s Bakery will no longer supply Sheetz stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio with pepperoni rolls. This is a loss of around 70 stores for the bakery.
According to Mazza, the bakery will continue to supply their current Sheetz locations around West Virginia until the new vendor is selected. This confirms the previous statement The Clarksburg Post received this afternoon from Tarah Arnold, Public Relations Manager for Sheetz, Inc.
Mazza was optimistic about one potential opportunity. “There are twenty-two stores in West Virginia that we currently are not supplying that we have the potential to pick-up, mostly around Martinsburg and in the Eastern Panhandle of the state. We are excited about that potential opportunity,” Mazza said. When asked if the Clarkburg-based bakery had the capacity to supply to all Sheetz locations in West Virginia, Mazza responded, “Absolutely.”
“Sheetz is a good company and they are looking out for themselves, just as we have to look out for ourselves. I want to thank all of our customers who have supported us,” said Mazza.
UPDATE (4:15PM): The Clarksburg Post has received the following statement from Tarah Arnold, Public Relations Manager for Sheetz, Inc. regarding this morning’s refusal of products from Rogers and Mazza’s Bakery at Sheetz stores in Beckley, WV. “This was an isolated incident and we have communicated to our stores in WV to continue to receive, merchandise and sell the products from our vendors.” Arnold also stated that, “all three bakeries [Abruzzino’s Italian Bakery, Rogers & Mazza’s Bakery, and Home Industry Bakery] will continue to provide pepperoni rolls until a new partner is selected.”
UPDATE (11:30AM): We have received an update from Rogers and Mazza’s Bakery that Sheetz stores in Beckley, WV refused delivery this morning. We have reached out to Sheetz, Inc. for comment on this issue and will continue to update this story with any new information.
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