“Free coffee today.” Employees of QuickChek’s Dunellen location took turns last Wednesday greeting customers with the good news. The treat was in honor of QuickChek’s golden anniversary.
Although QuickChek currently receives national recognition for its coffee, it was another beverage that instigated the start of the chain. In the 1960s, Carlton C. Durling was looking for a new way for the products of his family’s dairy farm to reach consumers. He found it in the convenience store concept and on March 15, 1967, the doors to QuickChek’s first ever location, 419 North Avenue, opened.
The Dunellen location was quickly joined by others. An ad from the Piscataway Review’s October 3, 1968 issue lists the Stelton Avenue, Piscataway store (#2) and a New Providence store which was replaced by the William Street, Piscataway store (#3).
In 1980, QuickChek #1 moved across the street to a more modern building at 426 North Avenue. The original building still stands. The NJ Department of Motor Vehicles rented the space for several years. It is now occupied by Just US Children Daycare Center.
QuickChek currently operates 147 convenience stores throughout New Jersey, New York’s Hudson Valley and Long Island. Some contain pharmacies and liquor departments. According to QuickChek Director of Operations Jerry Hayes, all new locations, including the QuickChek that will be replacing Somerset Farms in North Plainfield will continue the company’s focus on complete service by having gas stations.
QuickChek has been celebrating its 50 years of business since February, offering customers with 10 weeks of five offers each week. In addition to the free coffee offered on the anniversary, the company held a brief ceremony which included an official proclamation honoring QuickChek read by Borough Clerk William Robins. Also in attendance were Mayor Robert Seader and Councilman Jason Cilento.