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“We’ve built the reputation that we work hard to be clean and we have the right people here,” says Bobby Berkstresser, owner. “We were good as an independent truckstop, but we’re even better as a Petro.”
Berkstresser bought White’s nearly two years ago and immediately began a 21-month-long renovation. The improvements took place inside and out, including expanding the truck parking lot to 450 spots, complete with spaces designated for handicap parking, and introducing a shuttle that runs continuously between the parking lot and the main building.
“It makes the experience better, not only for the customer but for employees as well,” says Berkstresser.
The renovated showers and restrooms have been the most popular of the upgrades. There are nine tiled showers, and now that the location operates as a Petro, drivers can reserve a shower through a kiosk or the TruckSmart mobile app. A porter makes sure everything runs smoothly.
The restaurant hadn’t been updated much since the truckstop was built in 1970. Berkstresser cut out walls, demolished windows and pulled up floors to construct an all-new Iron Skillet. He added a buffet, new booths and a new bar all arranged to make the atmosphere more appealing. The kitchen was also completely remodeled.
Mellyora Groah, fuel desk manager, has been at the location for 17 years. She was a new mom back then and remembers that the staff and customers welcomed her like she was family.
“One Valentine’s Day there was a bad ice storm. A driver needed to get to a pharmacy to get prescriptions, but he couldn’t drive his truck,” says Groah. “I let him take my car, not thinking anything of it. That evening when I left, there was a full tank of gas, and roses and candy sitting on my seat. I was so touched. Our motto is ‘treat people how you want to be treated.’”
Grab a leg
“They sell like crazy and they’re huge!” exclaims Maren Varne, the store manager. “I would really hate to encounter the turkey that belonged to those big legs.”
Where: I-81/I-64, Exit 205, Raphine, Va.
Phone: (540) 377-2111
Fax: (540) 377-5729
Truck Parking Spaces: 450
Truck Service Bays: 6
Restaurants: Iron Skillet