By DAVID BORAKS
The Rusher family of Salisbury has been running a fuel distribution business since 1938 and convenience stores since 1982, but there’s something quite different about the Rushco Davidson Market that opened this week.
Bob Rusher Jr. describes the business not as a typical convenience store, but as an “urban market.” The site includes the food market, offices, and gasoline pumps under a canopy. And other details stand out, from its prepared foods and ice cream right down to the environmentally friendly car wash out in the parking lot that recycles waste water.
The Rushco Davidson Market partially opened is doors Tuesday, and will have its first full day with food service Thursday. And when we say food service, we mean a full kitchen with everything from “create-your-own” pizzas and barbecue to homemade salads and wraps.
The market, at the first traffic circle off I-77 Exit 30, is the 19th store in the family business, Rusher Oil Co. of Salisbury. The first opened in 1982, and others are in Cabarrus, Rowan and surrounding counties.
The Rushers (pronounced “roosher”) and their Rusher Oil Co. of Salisbury first won approval for the two-story building in Davidson seven years ago, and it’s opening after a variety of delays.
Even the two-story building is unusual for the Rushers and any convenience store: About 2,400 square feet of office space is available upstairs, overlooking the traffic circle.
Bob Rusher gave a tour of the shop the other day, along with his brother, Joey, and dad, Bob Rusher Sr. The Rushers hope their market hits a wide target here – from morning commuters and highway traffic to Davidson College students and families.
The market’s deli counter and kitchen will serve made-to-order wraps, pockets, sandwiches, barbecue and “create-your-own” pizzas. They’ll also have pre-made sandwiches to “grab and go,” Bob Rusher Jr. said, as well as hot dogs and burgers and homemade salads.
For breakfast they’ll have biscuits, sandwiches and wraps. Also on the menu are dip ice cream, shakes, smoothies and sundaes.
The market sells gourmet coffee, cappuccino and other beverages, including wines and beer kept in a walk-in cooler – temperature “right around 32 degrees,” Bob Rusher Jr. said.
The Rushers worked with town officials to meet a variety of local standards, right down to the shop’s signage, created by Davidson-based Bizzell Design. The business had to get special approval for the signage last fall, in part because town rules don’t really address the kinds of signs needed for larger buildings off Exit 30.
As the Rushers try to fit in to Davidson, they’ve filled the store with historical murals, including 1947 and 1908 Davidson College football teams, and the 1958 baseball team.
Bob Rusher Sr. was keen to show off a pair of photos – one taken as the company’s workers delivered fuel to an airplane in the 1930s, and another showing his father holding him as a child. That would be W.H. Rusher, the founder of the business, father of Bob Sr. and grandfather of Joey and Bob Jr.
Said Bob Rusher Jr.: “My grandfather started the business, W.H. Rusher. (He had) just been in the petroleum and gasoline business. My father graduated from college came into business with him, and the we followed our father’s footsteps,” Bob Rusher Jr.
Even the car wash is different from what you’ll find at other local gas stations. Its reclamation system recycles 70 percent of the water it uses.
The water system isn’t required, but was part of the Rushers’ effort to fit their shop into Davidson. “We know Davidson likes to be green,” Joey Rusher said.
June 1, 2011, “Rushco market nears opening; need an upstairs office?”
Oct. 12, 2010, “Board OKs signs for Rushco market at Exit 30″
Sept. 29, 2010, “Market won’t be your run-of-the-mill gas station.”
OFFICE SPACE AND INQUIRIES
If you’re interested in the office space or have other questions, call Rusher Oil Co. at 704-633-8233.