Gelson’s Debuting ReCharge Premium C-Store Format

Concept launching in partnership with Rove EV charging centers
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Rove Gelson's Santa Ana Exterior Front Main Image
Artist's rendering of the Santa Ana, Calif.-based Rove EV charging center, for which the Rove and Gelson's teams recently held a groundbreaking ceremony. Credit: Peruzzi Architects

Upscale Southern California independent grocer Gelson’s has partnered with Rove, a developer and operator of full-service electric vehicle (EV) charging centers, to offer food and beverage services as part of a new concept. Rove will construct an initial six locations in Southern California beginning this year, with 20 charging centers planned by 2026. The deal is a first-of-its-kind retail brand partnership for Gelson’s.

ReCharge by Gelson’s will carry a curated assortment of foods, beverages and convenience items for both on-the-go Rove customers and neighborhood residents. Offerings will include coffee service and hot and cold snack and meal options to eat on site or take home, such as poké bowls and sushi, sandwiches and wraps, salads, charcuterie, and cheese plates, along with a large selection single-serve and multipack cold beverages. The format will also feature convenient dairy and frozen items, in addition to staples like snack foods, bread and non-grocery items.

[Read more: “Food Retailers Are Leading the Charge for Electric Vehicles”]

Rove’s EV charging centers will offer 40-plus ultra-fast EV chargers, a 24/7 lounge with restrooms and free Wi-Fi, and an eco-friendly car wash for added convenience in some locations. Every center will also include parking spots for non-chargers, enabling anyone to pick up Gelson’s breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

“We’re excited for the Gelson’s team and their new concept to join our full-service EV charging centers,” said Nathan McDonnell, CEO of Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Rove. “From day one, we aimed to offer our customers fresh food alongside a superior charging experience. With ReCharge by Gelson’s at Rove’s centers, we are reimaging the public charging experience together, leaving EV drivers recharged in more ways than one.”

“We are thrilled to join in partnership with Rove to launch this innovative new concept, bringing fresh and better-for-you offerings for people on the go across Southern California,” noted Gelson’s President and CEO John Bagan. “Our new ReCharge by Gelson’s locations will bring our premium food and beverage experience closer to many of our existing customers while also introducing us to an expanded audience.”

Bagan added that Gelson’s has been moving to EVs and alternative-fuel vehicles for its own company fleet, and that the partnership with Rove is a key part of the independent grocer’s pursuit of its larger sustainability goals.

Founded in 1951, Encino, Calif.-based Gelson’s operates 27 locations throughout Southern California. It plans to open its 28th location in the mixed-use West Edge development in West Los Angeles in October. 

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