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Vaping an alternative to cigarette smoking

Vaping an alternative to cigarette smoking Smoking continues to be a major concern, affecting the health of a substantial proportion of the population. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates almost 18 out of every 100 adults aged 18 or older in the United States currently smoke cigarettes. That equates to an estimated 42.1 million people.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease in the United States, annually contributing to roughly 500,000 deaths. Although smoking rates have been on the decline, public health officials believe there is still more to be done, including educating youth about the dangers of smoking.

Those who already smoke might be interested in quitting the habit once and for all. The following are some of the more popular smoking cessation methods.

Vaporizers and e-cigarettes: Vaporizers and e-cigarettes involve inhaling water vapor through various devices. The vapor contains nicotine and can be customized based on the desired nicotine level. Vapor does not produce any secondhand smoke and can be relatively odorless. Individuals are increasingly turning to e-cigarettes and vaping products as an alternative to traditional cigarettes and as a means to quitting. The FDA does not presently regulate electronic cigarettes and vaping liquids, nor are there any large scale, long-term studies that prove the efficacy of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation method. Larger trials are required before vaping products can be recommended to people looking to quit smoking.

By Jen Peake
CIEDA Marketing Specialist

All About Convenience

All About Convenience You see them in every checkout line, even on the countertop perhaps — tempting merchandise. A display rack of gum, select candy or mints, a mini cooler stocked with refreshing drinks … all of these items can entice a customer to make an impulse buy or remind them of something they want.

And during peak driving season, strategic displays are the perfect opportunity for customers to choose Creek Convenience Store Atmore (CCSA).

Point-of-sale items are nothing new. Most consumers know them when they see them. But setting up specific arrangements to attract customers to buy goes beyond making an extra sale. It’s all about providing convenience.

Convenience is all about the right now. At CCSA, customers looking for special items can find them right away with just a quick glance. The layout of the store is set up strategically so you can easily pick out which aisle you should choose. But having some items arranged and showcased the moment someone walks in the door helps tremendously in getting that person to return to the store for those products again.

“We have a cooler filled with soft drinks sitting right at the door,” Tribal member and General Manager Susie McCann said. “During the summer, a lot of people come in for a soda or bottle of water to keep hydrated, especially outdoor workers. Why make them walk all the way to the back coolers when we could have a few on ice when they open the door?”

An online study said consumers remember point-of-sale displays that appeal to them. When asked how often a person visited the same convenience store and why, respondents said they patronized the same store frequently because their immediate needs were available and convenient, with little or no wait to grab and go.

“Our discount tobacco products also are in the line of sight for customers,” McCann said. “It’s a straight shot to the counter, no turning corners or going to the far end of the store.”

Creek Convenience Store Atmore also has the advantage of being the first store on Highway 21 going south off Interstate 65 at exit 57. For travelers in need of gas or just to make a quick pit stop for snacks, CCSA is the convenient choice.

And in a world driven by convenience, CCSA is doing everything right.

By Jen Peake
CIEDA Marketing Specialist

It's okay to 'wine' a bit

Okay to wine Sometimes, after a long day at work, you just want to unwind with a glass of wine and watch the sun set. Everyone has their own preference of wine tastes, but many don't know the origins behind the brand they drink or about the grapes that make up the wine.

Perdido Vineyards is a locally made Muscadine wine from Baldwin County that can be bought at Creek Convenience Store Atmore and Creek Travel Plaza. It is touted as Alabama's first farm winery. Owner Jim Eddins has been in business making wine since 1979.

Learning about the brand
Whether you prefer red or white, Perdido Vineyards has a variety of styles as well as fruit wines, such as apple, blueberry and satsuma orange. Eddins has named each of his wines to pay tribute to the local area. The Egor Rouge is a cabernet/merlot blend representing the Eastern Shore. The Daphne combines Muscadine grapes with a distillation of black currents to make a pleasant dessert wine. And the Magnolia Springs is a dry white table wine, which would go well with seafood or pork dinners.

History of the grapes
Muscadine grapes ripen in the fall and are native to the Southeastern United States, particularly in Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas, as well as parts of Central America. Muscadines are valued for their thick skins and are touted for having a high concentration of resveratrol, which has been linked to heart heath and cancer prevention. The most common Muscadine that many people can recognize is the Scuppernong, used to produce commercial wines.

The grapes have a Native American tie to them as well. Creek Indians and Cherokees used Muscadines for medicinal poultices to relieve inflammation. The antioxidants found in Muscadines also are said to relieve stress. There are many other health benefits of Muscadine grapes and the wine made from them, such as preventing diabetes and blocking cancer growths.

So purchase locally made wine and support your local economy. Creek Convenience Store Atmore and Creek Travel Plaza are proud to offer customers Perdido Vineyards wine. Choose from an assortment of flavors and blends. Each bottle is $12.95. Try one today.

By Jen Peake
CIEDA Marketing Specialist

CCSA Fuel Grades

Fuel Grades Find out why buying premium gas helps your car engine roar!

Click image at right to see full-size version and learn more!

CCSA appreciation event a success

CCSA appreciation event a success Without customers, a business cannot exist. And in a tight-knit community such as Atmore, customers become almost like family.

With the holidays approaching, it was the perfect time for a party, so Creek Convenience Store Atmore (CCSA) threw a customer appreciation bash to honor its loyal patrons.

On a bright, brisk Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, about 200 customers showed up for the festivities at CCSA to enjoy free chili cheese hot dogs and drinks, win prizes and an opportunity to see the NASCAR No. 22 Shell race car driven by NASCAR driver Joey Logano.

A popular driver, Logano finished up the 2015 NASCAR season with a fourth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 22. He won six races and captured the pole position once in 2015. To have his show car at the event was definitely a big deal.

There was a steady stream of people stopping in and hanging out at CCSA, catching up with the employees and enjoying the noticeably cooler temperatures of mid-November.

"What a success we have had with this event," Retail Operations Manager Leo Hammons said. "People seemed to enjoy the day, enjoy the food, and the prize wheel was a big draw, too. The customers really appreciated us doing something different, and the flow of traffic seemed almost nonstop."

Hammons said the Shell show car was a hit as well.

"It's not every day you get to see a race car," he said. "Everyone was taking pictures and looking through the windows. It was just a wonderful day."

CCSA employee Anjaneice Martin, who was working the day of the event, said she saw a lot of regulars come in and congregate in the store.

"Many were coming in and looking around, checking out our new mural on the walls," Martin said. "A lot of Tribal Members who showed up for the event were reminiscing and pointing out their families in the mural. That was a proud moment."

Martin also said she was glad to have worked during the event.

"It was a lot of fun and didn't seem like I was at work at all. Everyone here always has a good time, but the extra interaction with the public was pretty cool."

Another employee, Nicole Edwards, said the event was well received from customers.

"They all said the food was great, and they seemed excited about the prizes outside," Edwards said. "There was a lot of good chatter about it."

By Jen Peake
CIEDA Marketing Specialist

A Day in the Life of... Tribal Member Susie McCann

Land Rec The convenience store industry is a hotbed for growth right now in America. They are the most utilized retailer for people who are on the go, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But it's the behind-the-scenes work that makes an average convenience store become a great store — one that customers want to visit time and time again.

“Believe it or not, there is a lot of paperwork involved in running a convenience store and gas station,” Creek Convenience Store Atmore General Manager Susie McCann said. “I begin every day with paperwork and end most days with it as well.”

Director of Retail Operations Leo Hammons echoes that statement.

“I approve all invoices and make sure everything is keyed in on the proper line, because that affects inventory,” he said. “It takes a lot of time to double check things, but in the end, it makes the operations run more effectively.”

However, what makes CCSA unique in the industry is they set their own gas prices and change them more frequently than the average station.

“We get reports on prices from McPherson and base it off that,” said McCann, who is a Tribal Member and going on her 11th year with the company. “We don’t wait to change the prices like others do. When we notice the trend go up or down, we go up or down, depending on our cost. That makes us usually the first station customers notice when prices drop.”

McCann said vendors come in on staggered days, so once she gets settled in the mornings, she often is out in the store managing inventory.

“I enjoy getting out on the floor with the staff,” she said. “I really love my employees. They work so hard and are very dedicated.”

McCann said CCSA employs 12 full-time workers who receive an excellent benefit package and 401(k) when they are hired.

“Everything is going really well here,” McCann said. “Every day I check the grounds for repairs or possible upgrades and routine maintenance that needs doing. I sometimes deal with a gas issue or inventory issue but mostly we are a well-oiled machine.”

Having been in the business most of her life — she and her husband previously owned a store for several years — McCann said she has seen the industry change and has accommodated customers’ lifestyles.

“The most recent addition has been our e-cigarettes,” she said. “We have seen more people buy e-cigs and the refill oils than actual cigarettes. The trend is moving away from smoking and towards vaping.” Another change is in technology.

“We have recently installed a new front-end system (registers), and I absolutely love how it works,” McCann said. “Learning all the new back-office system for sending in reports has been great, too. It has a lot of new features I think will really benefit us once we learn and implement them.”

CCSA also features Creek Indian heritage in its merchandise. Indian dolls, handmade purses and other PBCI logo items are on display for sale all throughout the store.

McCann said she has no complaints when it comes to her job and industry.

“CIE is family,” she said of working for Creek Indian Enterprise Development Authority, which manages CCSA for the Tribe. “I really love my job, my staff and my customers. I just wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

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