At the back corner of Reeder’s service center, you’ll find Cheryl Reeder’s handprints in the concrete. She placed them there when her parents, Leroy and Jane Reeder, operated the station. Even before then, Cheryl’s grandfather, JB Reeder, operated the store. Now that Cheryl and her husband, Ross Ledbetter, own Reeder’s, you’ll find their children’s handprints in the concrete out front.
“My dad wanted me to run a clothing store,” Reeder says. “But I worked here in college and the bug bit me.”
Reeder’s transitioned from a Phillips franchise to a private station in 2013. In 2019 the Reeder family decided to go all local, most particularly in the food they offer, by opening the Fresh to Convenience store at Reeder’s. They hired Kristi King to be an in-house chef to create salads, pasta dinners, sandwiches, dips, desserts and more.
They also reached out to local restaurants to provide unexpected, fresh convenience food and drink options for the store. Their partners include In the Raw Sushi, Antoinette Baking Co., Topeca Coffee and many more. The Weber’s Superior Root Beer in the soda machine and the concrete on the floor comes from Oklahoma.
“We’ve got good people doing good things,” Ledbetter says. “It all goes back to that.”
In addition to providing busy families and professionals with healthy food to grab and go, Reeder’s also offers full auto services to ensure its customers drive off safely, whether they are planning a road trip or making their morning commute. This service ranges from brake service, oil changes, tune-ups, tire replacement, rotation, alignment and more to tire pressure checks, fluid checks and window washing.
“Full service is the secret sauce,” Ledbetter says. “We want to give our customers that peace of mind.” The auto division of Reeder’s also boasts ASE-certified mechanics and has a BMW specialist.
The Reeders hope to continue their business into the next generation. Cheryl and Ross’ daughter, Mary Ledbetter, earned a scholarship from the National Association of Convenience Stores and hopes to one day own and operate the store herself.
“We’re looking to our fourth generation,” Reeder says. “And she already has ideas to grow.”
Their eighth-grade son, Reeder Ledbetter, shares the store-owning ambition. It must be in their blood.