Pak-A-Sak is the retail division of Jay Petroleum, Inc., founded in 1959 by current chairman of the board Jim Peterson. Jim began his career in the petroleum industry in 1952 as an employee of the Standard Oil Company. It was during these early years on his tank wagon delivery route throughout east central Indiana, that Jim developed his interest in the oil business.
As Jim’s small business began to grow, it became apparent to him that there were many opportunities to diversify beyond distributing fuels to farms and small gas stations. As a result, he began to acquire retail service stations which he then leased to dealers to operate. Some of these locations would later become the early sites of Pak-A-Sak’s beginnings.
From the late 1960’s through the late 1980’s, Jay Petroleum expanded its operations to include a wholesale automotive division, a bulk lubricant division, and a retail convenience store division. During this time, Jim’s small business grew from a handful of employees to over 200 associates.
During the late 1970’s as the gasoline marketing landscape began to take on a new appearance with the emergence of the convenience store, Jim teamed up with two other individuals to form the Pak-A-Sak convenience store company. The business originally began with the acquisition of three locally owned mom & pop grocery gas stations. However, the business rapidly grew from the original three locations to eight traditional convenience stores by the early 1980’s. Although these early stores were nothing like the glamorous food and fuel centers of today, the name and image of Pak-A-Sak quickly became synonymous with fast, friendly, 24 hour shopping.
In 1988, Jim acquired sole ownership of Pak-A-Sak, and brought its operations under the umbrella of Jay Petroleum. It was at this same time that Jim realized the future of his business looked brightest within the convenience industry. As a result, he began to sell off the lubricants and automotive parts divisions to fund future growth in Pak-A-Sak.
In 1989 those funds were channeled into the construction of four new state-of-the-art stores. Likewise, Jay Petroleum forged a strong alliance with Shell Oil Company, and began re-branding all of its stores with this brand. The decade closed with 13 Pak-A-Sak stores in operation.
Pak-A-Sak’s growth and success was not overlooked by the convenience store industry. In 1991, Convenience Store Decisions Magazine named Pak-A-Sak one of its four “Up and Coming” small chains in the country. During that same year, Jay Petroleum acquired three locations in Ohio, and became a multi-state retail operator of gas and convenience items. Soon after, Jay Petroleum formed a second gasoline alliance with Marathon Oil Company and branded all of its Ohio stores with this brand.
The 1990’s brought on the emergence of a new growth category; branded fast foods. Pak-A-Sak became one of the first Midwestern chains to enter this new arena by purchasing a Subway franchise in early 1993. By the end of that same year, the company had also secured a partnership with Taco Bell. Currently Pak-A-Sak operates 2 Taco Bell Express units, 10 Subways, 1 Noble Romans Pizza Express operations, and most recently added a proprietary chicken offering at 4 locations called “Cluckers.”
Jay Petroleum’s single largest undertaking came in 1998 when the company acquired 13 retail locations from C & C Oil Company of Huntington, Indiana. The acquisition increased the company’s retail size by 37%, and stretched its territorial reach across Northern Indiana to the Illinois state line. Likewise, the purchase not only strengthened Jay Petroleum’s market presence, but also its purchasing power, and people power. Talented individuals were added in both management and supervision.
A commitment to “doing the right thing,” for both its customers, suppliers, and employees has always been the hallmark of Jay Petroleum’s success. In 1995, Shell Oil Company recognized this fact by honoring the company with its Jobber of the Year Award within the Indiana market. In addition, when it came time to select an honoree for 1996, Shell selected Jay Petroleum a second time as their pick for the most successful operator. That same year Jim Peterson was selected by the Portland Chamber of Commerce as the recipient of their “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In 2003 and 2004 Jay Petroleum was once again named Shell’s “Jobber of the Year.”
Today, as Pak-A-Sak celebrates its 25th year of doing business, it does so as an operator of 37 Pak-A-Sak convenience stores throughout east central Indiana, and west central Ohio. In its search to provide customers with a warm and pleasant shopping experience, the company continues to develop new store designs and concepts that will appeals to shoppers of all ages. Likewise, Pak-A-Sak benefits from the ongoing support of more than 425 talented associates who pride themselves on superior service to our customers and each other.