Major co-op travel plaza to serve truckers and farmers alike

A large co-op travel plaza is set to open in Sheldon, Iowa later this month. 

The new truck stop and convenience store was announced back in the summer of 2018 and is now nearing completion. The Travel plaza sits on a six acre lot on the northeast corner of the Highway 60 expressway and Highway 18 at the upcoming Sheldon Crossroads North Business Park.

“About a 6,000 square foot convenience center along with a service shop that will be coming shortly after. We do have a car wash out there as well. “ said Tyler Boone of COOP Gas and Oil, who is involved with the project, to KIWA Radio.

Boone says that the truck stop intends to offer homemade food options, along with a Godfather’s and a Jimmy John’s.

“That’ll probably come early next year,” Boone said. 

“Guys that are on the road all day want something different… want something that has that home-cooked taste… whether it’s lasagna, meatloaf, hot beef… We try to mix it up and offer something that gives them a taste of back home, too.”

In addition to serving truckers, the travel plaza intends to cater to local farmers as well by offering ethanol blends a their gas pumps. 

“We’re a cooperative. We’re owned by the community. A good chunk of our businesses is agriculture. We’re going to offer E15 or Unleaded 88 out there at the new site. We’re pretty excited for that. Nationwide, out of all the corn produced in the United States about 40% actually goes into ethanol. So us being able to offer that E15 supports the farmers, supports the area, supports everybody, and offers a little cheaper option. Typically that Unleaded 88 runs about five cents less than standard super unleaded.”

Once completed, the Sheldon Travel plaza will have cost around $2 Million to construct.  

“We’re definitely making a pretty sizable investment in the community,” Boone explained. 

“And we hope that we get the support back from the community. I’m sure we will. Come out and check it out. There’s definitely value in becoming a member of the co-operative other than the discount you get with our Cooperative Gas and Oil card. The idea of any cooperative is that at the end of the year any savings that we make, based upon member businesses is returned.”

“In years past that’s been a pretty good deal,” he continued. “We are very excited for what this project will bring not only to our existing membership, but to the community of Sheldon and the increased tourism that will certainly ensue,” he said to NWEST Iowa News “This investment alone won’t make these efforts successful, however; we will need the continued support of our membership as this support allows us to grow, expand and prepare for the future.”

The location is on track to open Thursday, November 19th. The current Coop Gas & Oil location on Second Avenue/Old Highway 60 will soon be put up for sale, but its fuel pumps will remain operational until a deal is made.