by Logan Gruber
Your local Speedstop won’t be a BP for much longer; it won’t even be a Speedstop. JM Cos. is converting its BP stations into SuperAmerica locations, including the one in St. Joseph.
The St. Joseph location will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 19-20 and re-open Wednesday, Jan. 21.
“Customers will see the difference the moment they walk in,” said Brian Laudenbach, vice president of JM Cos.
JM Cos., based in St. Cloud, originally operated as JM Oil and was franchised as Amoco in 1975. BP absorbed Amoco a decade or so ago, and JM Cos.’ locations switched fuel providers by default at the time. Now they want to make a change.
BP provided only its name and fuel to locations, leaving JM Cos. to figure out how to make the convenience-store end of its business work. Laudenbach said he is looking forward to working with SA because SA is very experienced in working with franchises and providing guidance.
One of the things Laudenbach is most excited about is the local aspect of SA. SuperAmerica is based in Woodbury. It also maintains a bakery and an oil refinery in St. Paul Park. Due to the parent company’s proximity, SA stations are able to receive fresh goods every night.
It also means SA is able to use mainly oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields in its refining and offer it to consumers. Laudenbach said some customers he spoke with were concerned SA wouldn’t be able to offer non-oxygenated premium fuel for small-engine use, but he assures those customers it will.
And unfortunately, some customers who are used to the Super Ticket system (a stamp-rewards program for Speedstop locations) will be disappointed these tickets will no longer be honored. But Laudenbach says the My SA Rewards card will have similar, arguably better benefits.
JM Cos. employs about 180 local people throughout the St. Cloud area, and is currently accepting applications in stores.
“We’re always looking for good people,” Laudenbach said.