Stithems celebrating 25 years in Hoyt
Full-service gas stations are few and far between these days but community support has kept Stithem’s Hoyt Services & Tire in business for 25 years.
“I opened it up because the town needed it,” said owner Jeff Stithem. “I never dreamed what it would be. Our goal is to provide a service to the community.”
To celebrate the milestone, owners Jeff and Brenda Stithem, along with manager Jerry Thornburg, will host a free customer appreciation lunch of pulled pork and chips from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Saturday at the business, located at 117 E. Fourth St. in Hoyt.
The Stithems purchased the vacant lot where the business now sits in the winter of 1997. While Stithem does the bookwork for the filling station, Thornburg has managed all the day-to-day operations for the past 24 and a half years.
“We started out with tires and gas and diesel, and after about five years, we started carrying off-road fuel as well,” Stithem said.
The business later started selling vehicle batteries and motor oil. Stithem said they work with Capitol City Oil and try to maintain competitive fuel prices.
“We’ve tried to stay competitive with places north and south of us. It’s one of the only full-service stations left that you can find,” he said. “When fuel prices got really, high during COVID-19, it got really hard. People got to the point where they were trying to save every nickel and dime they could. But we still had to make money. So we had to price it the way we had to price it. It put us in a struggle for a while, but we tried to manage our overhead and costs.”
The tire aspect of the business remains steady since there are not many local options in the area, Stithem said. The business has partnered with Armstrong Tire in Muscotah for tires.
“They’ve helped us be competitive with our prices. We don’t inventory a lot, but we can get them here in a day or two,” Stithem said. “The key has been to keep our overhead down.”
Through the years, Stithem’s has become a steady fixture in the town.
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