BUCKHANNON – “If there’s not a Par Mar near you, there will be soon,” is the tagline for Par Mar Stores’ chain of convenience marts, but in Upshur County, there’s probably already one near you, and you just don’t know it yet.
Within the last month, Par Mar Stores – which stands for Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Marietta, Ohio – has acquired and opened three new locations in Buckhannon and Upshur County, including the former Fast Stop Food Mart/BP on the Clarksburg Road in the former Brake’s Dairy King plaza, the Fast Stop/Citgo located on the Tallmansville Road and the Citgo on the Vicksburg Road, located at 101 E. Green Street. The two Citgos in the Vicksburg and Tallmansville areas will both be converted to Valeros, said Dave Allen, community relations director for the Marietta, Ohio-based corporation.
“We had one opening on August 9 on Green Street (Vicksburg Road), and then one opening on August 10 on the Tallmansville Road, and then that Friday, August 12, we opened the one on the Clarksburg Road,” Allen said Friday. “We’re just very happy to be here. We think Buckhannon and Upshur County is a great town and a great community.”
The three stores are in addition to the Mountaineer Mart/BP located on the Old Weston Road, Allen noted, saying Par Mar Stores has added 30 new convenience marts since August 2021.
“We have 199 stores, and we are about to go into our fifth state, Maryland,” he said.
Par Mars also dot the map in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and of course, West Virginia. The company updated the technology and cash register and made some minor improvements in its three new locations, but it’s not planning any major upgrades, Allen said.
“We believe in growth by acquisition,” he explained. “These stores have been successful in their communities, and we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. It would be silly to start changing a lot of stuff. We upgrade the technology in all of them, we offer a rewards card, and in a lot of stores, if they don’t have the state lottery, we try to do the lottery in there as well.”
Allen said the same goes for workers; if a convenience store has solid employees, Par Mar doesn’t change things up.
“The bottom line is, even though we are a large corporation based in Marietta, Ohio, we are the most non-corporate corporation you’ll ever see in your life,” he said. “We like to support the community and get out in the community. We don’t strive to have that corporate attitude, and we don’t change out employees when we come in; we try to keep as many people on as we can. If the store has five good workers, why would we get rid of them?”
Allen said he was headed to Dawson, West Virginia Friday to open a new Par Mar near Fayette-Greenbrier County line. Learn more about Par Mar Perks, the company’s rewards program, here or download the Par Mar Stores app here.