The completion of the long-awaited Sonora Love’s Travel Center (Love’s 700) was marked by an official Grand Opening ceremony and ribbon cutting Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the Center’s new I-10 location. Community leaders, professionals and residents alike came out to take part in the special event.

In addition to the grand opening celebration, Love’s General Manager Justin Knox presented a check in the amount of $2,000 to Matt Lewis of the San Angelo Area Foundation in support of the ongoing flood relief efforts locally.

Knox said the new Love’s is off to a good start and he expects it to grow in the future.

“The business exceeded our expectations all the way through the holiday season and the people were just fantastic,” Knox said. “I couldn’t be prouder of their hard work and dedication. We are off to a great start and I think that it can only get better as the store matures along with its great people. We are always hopeful that we bring in additional revenue not only to the city but to the other businesses in the area by bringing in more customers so they can highlight what makes their business unique. Love’s always tries to do what they can for our neighbors and community,. Specifically here in Sonora, we are beginning ours with a donation to the Sonora Flood Relief Fund.”

Sonora Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donna Garrett said she is excited about the new Love’s and all that it has to offer Sonora.
“We are so excited about the new Love’s,” Garrett said. “I think it will benefit the sales tax revenue and that it will certainly help the community of Sonora. I think it is going to bring more traffic to town and it provides local jobs for people in the community. Love’s has already put a lot of people to work. It’s a win for everybody.”

Currently, the new center employs 30 people with plans to increase that number with the opening of the Tire Center set to open in February.
Between the two restaurants, convenience store, and tire shop, the Sonora Love’s Travel Center is expected to employ 40 people, according to Knox.
“All the employees that work in the store come from local towns in the area such as Sonora, Eldorado, Ozona, and Junction,” Knox said. “In addition to that one of our management members is also from the Sonora area.”

In addition to providing fuel and convenience items for travelers and truckers alike, the specialty travel center features two eateries, Chester’s Chicken and Subway.

More than 70 truck parking spaces are available as well as showers, laundry services and a Love’s Truck Tire Care Center for professional truck drivers.

Talk of a Sonora Love’s travel Center began in 2015. After months of preparations, contractors broke ground on the construction of the facility this past January 2018.

Through a collaborative effort between the City of Sonora, TxDOT, landowners in the area and others in the community, the approximately 11,000 square foot commercial consortium was completed this past December 2018.

The Love’s 700 opened to the public the second week of December and it has realized a steady flow of customers since.

The Sonora Love’s Travel Center is stationed on I-10 E at the 404 mile marker.

There is an entrance ramp on the west and an exit ramp on the east for easy access to and from the facility.

Love’s, founded in 1964, is a privately owned industry that is head quartered in Oklahoma City, OK. It was named to Forbes America’s Largest Private Companies list and received 2000 Outlook Award for innovation and outstanding contribution to the future of convenience store industry.
Additionally, Love’s acquired 20 Pilot Travel Centers and six Flying J locations in 2010.

As of 2018, there are more than 470 Love’s facilities located throughout 41 states employing approximately 22,000 people.

Of the company’s current brands, Love’s Country Store, Love’s Travel Stops, Gemini Motor Transport and Love’s Truck Tire Center, Sonora’s travel stop is an interstate travel center according to Kealey Dorian, Love’s Media Specialist.

Dorian said the Sonora Travel Center provides a good balance for both truck drivers and families with one half of the facility providing conveniences for people traveling on I-10 and the other half dedicated to meeting the needs of commercial trucks and truck drivers.

The nearest Love’s Travel stop of the same size is located in Comfort on I-10 at the 523 exit.