Construction work is under way on Putnam County's third Sheetz location, and work on the county's fourth location is set to begin this spring.
Crews started work last week at the site of a new Sheetz location in Poca, at the intersection of W.Va. 62 and W.Va. 25. The store is expected to open in June.
Executives at Sheetz, a family-owned company based in Altoona, Pa., with stores in six states, have overseen an aggressive expansion plan in recent years.
The popular convenience store and gas station chain - known especially for its Made To Order food brand of hot and cold sandwiches, pizza and wraps - has been opening 30 to 35 locations each year.
The company's 42nd West Virginia store opened in Clarksburg last month, and officials have dubbed the Kanawha Valley a "primary growth area."
While Putnam County has proven fertile ground for the company, its officials are still having a hard time securing property in Kanawha County.
Sheetz real estate director David Hazelet said the company is eager to expand into the Charleston market but has hit a roadblock.
"We have not been able to finalize any locations in Kanawha County," he said. "We would like to, but we haven't been able to do that."
Hazelet said the company would want Kanawha County stores to offer the full range of Sheetz services. That would include enough space for inside dining, a barista-staffed coffee and espresso area and the full-array of convenience store grocery items.
The lot would need to be large enough to support several gas pumps.
"We need at least an acre and a half, but we'd actually prefer two acres," Hazelet said.
It would also need to be close to major highways and interstates that crisscross the county.
That kind of land is in tight supply in the Charleston metro area.
"It's difficult to find a piece of ground large enough for us that hasn't already been developed," he said.
Besides securing the land, the company also has to go through an extensive permitting and evaluation process before it can get the green light to build a store.