PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has named Charlene Poe as its Member of the Month for August. Poe is the founder and managing partner of Middletown Truck Stop Eatery & Drive Thru, a business startup in Delaware.
Poe entered the truck stop business unexpectedly, after a conversation with a truck driver friend about the lack of commercial truck parking in Delaware. Poe was curious about the situation, and did some exploring, she said.
At the same time, she was also doing research for a business idea to start with her family. She came across a study by the Delaware Department of Transportation, which confirmed the need for more commercial truck parking in the northern and southern ends of Delaware.
Inspired by this need, Poe and her family made a change in their business plans to focus on providing commercial truck parking and amenities for drivers.
The endeavor is still in the beginning stages, but the family has a vision of effectively sustaining mobility. They plan to make the site a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified commercial truck stop.
In addition, the truck stop will have an extensive list of amenities that any professional truck driver would need while over the road, she said, including an eatery, a fitness center, a health care clinic, a truck service center and more. The eatery will provide cleaner meat-based menu items, along with some vegan/vegetarian food and drink options for healthier mobile living.
Poe said the goal is to break away from the norm by redefining the truck stop image. They are clients of the Women’s Business Center in Delaware, members of National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), National Association of Self Employed (NASE) and Women In Trucking Association (WIT).
Securing capital is a challenge, so Poe and her team are launching a perks-based crowdfunding campaign in the coming months on the Indiegogo platform. They will also consider investors.
“Everyone has something different and of immense value to bring to the table. When you truly discover what it is that you bring to this space, do it from the heart, with all your heart. Adopt a servant/leader mindset and never, ever give up,” Poe said.