Premier Companies has given new life to a rundown property near downtown Seymour that once was the site of a car wash.
The local agriculture business has renovated its CountryMark fuel station at 314 E. Second St. by adding all new gas pumps and turning the car wash into a convenience store.
Customers can purchase fountain drinks, fresh-brewed coffee and cappuccinos, bottled drinks, including two-liters, snacks, lottery tickets, tobacco products and a limited selection of prepackaged deli wraps and sandwiches.
Although the car wash was inoperable for years, the old gas pumps still worked, but they were confusing as customers had to pay at a centralized credit card kiosk, said Katie Martin, director of marketing for Premier.
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"We would get calls daily from people who couldn’t figure it out," she said.
That confusion has been eliminated, Martin said. Customers can now pay at the pump with their debit or credit card. They also can pay inside.
"It’s just like any other gas station now," she said.
The company made the decision to enhance the property about six months ago, Martin said.
"We had issues with the pump quality and with people paying at the kiosk," she said.
Instead of continuing to put money into fixing the pumps, they decided to upgrade them.
The station serves a lot of diesel fuel users and provides fuel to municipal vehicles, including firetrucks and police cars, along with school buses.
"A lot of them have accounts for their fuel," she said.
Another draw to CountryMark is that its gas is refined from American crude oil.
"We have a refinery in Mount Vernon, Indiana, and all of the crude oil is pulled from the Illinois basin," she said. "CountryMark has a dedicated pipeline."
Martin said another reason Premier wanted to make the property look better is because of the work Seymour Main Street and other area businesses are doing to revitalize the downtown.
"We felt like that was part of our responsibility to the community to clean up our area, as well," she said.
There are six employees at the station, which is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
"We have an amazing staff that are dedicated," she said. "It’s not just a gas station in our company. We are family. We have different divisions that support each other."
A grand opening ribbon-cutting event was conducted May 23. The store opened May 13.
Since the ribbon cutting, traffic and business have increased, Martin said.
"It’s just continuing to get the word out that we are here and we’re open," she said.
Premier also has reinvested in its 101 Community Drive location by redoing the interior of the convenience store and adding hot breakfast offerings, including biscuits and gravy and breakfast sandwiches, from 7 to 11 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
"We’re working on serving lunch, too," Martin said. "It’s just more inviting, and it feels like a high-end convenience store."
Signage has been added to make it easier for customers to locate items.
"It’s a welcoming feeling when you walk in," she said.
The company prides itself on maintaining clean and well-lit facilities to promote safety, Martin said.
"That’s part of being locally owned," she said, as Premier is a cooperative owned by farmers.
Premier has closed and razed its Brownstown CountryMark store at U.S. 50 and State Road 135 but plans to reopen a new store in the same location this summer.
All of the investments are an effort to have more presence in the community and to add more value for customers, Martin said.
"We’ve received a great response," she said.
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What: Premier Companies’ CountryMark fuel station and convenience store
Address: 314 E. Second St., Seymour
Hours: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Features: New pay-at-the-pump gas island, fountain drinks, fresh-brewed coffee and cappuccinos, bottled drinks, including two-liters, snacks, lottery tickets, tobacco products and a limited selection of prepackaged deli wraps and sandwiches
Information: Call 812-522-4911 or visit CountryMark – Premier Energy Convenience Stations on Facebook