Findlay, Ohio,
03:12 PM

Indy's Hoosier Market Marathon features upscale offerings

Beyond the Ordinary


The Hoosier Market is a unique Marathon-brand station in Indianapolis, Ind. With delicious barbecue, locally-made products, and hard-to-find gluten-free foods, this location is a great highlight in MPC’s marketing network.

A customer walks into the brand new Marathon-brand station and Hoosier Market in the upscale area of Indianapolis, and he pauses to look around. This doesn’t feel like a convenience store, with the high, open ceiling and industrial lighting accents, custom-made wooden end caps, and 24-inch slate tile flooring. To reach the checkout counter in the back, he will need to wind his way through moveable displays featuring custom packaged snacks, locally made products and hard-to-find gluten-free foods – all of the higher-end offerings catering to the wants and needs of the local area.

He sniffs appreciatively and his eyes find the order area for the kitchen, which churns out fresh, homemade meals, including barbecue, all day long. Today’s breakfast menu on the chalkboard has been replaced with lunch items, and the lunch line has already formed, with plenty of people dressed in scrubs (from the nearby medical center), business attire, and several moms with young children in tow. “To go” is still the norm here, but counters and bar-height wood seats provide a place to sit down and enjoy a sandwich on thick, homemade bread, filled with pulled pork, grilled cheese and caramelized onions. “That may be the best sandwich I’ve ever had,” says Larry Dewees, general manager of Good Oil Company, the Marathon jobber that supplies the location.

The location sat vacant for a number of years before it caught the eye of owner Gavin Hart. Good Oil sold him the property. Hart owns 16 Dairy Queens in the Indianapolis area, so one end of this location at 91st St. and Meridian is a full-size Dairy Queen and Grill. With stacked stone exterior accents and high-end finishes, the attractive exterior complements the red, white and blue of the Marathon pumps. The eye-catching store was designed by a Marathon-brand program partner, Paragon Solutions. Employees are uniformly dressed in black T-shirts, with the message “Eat, Drink and Be Happy.”

Operating partner Rick Herbertz is the mastermind behind the barbecue. “The barbecue is my own recipe, and we only use high-end meats,” says Herbertz, who travels nationally to compete in barbecue competitions. “Ambiance is also big with me. We don’t want this to look like any other convenience store. We pride ourselves on carrying products you don’t see elsewhere. For example, we’re the only location in Indianapolis that carries Peets Coffee, a leader in specialty coffees well known on the West Coast. And jerky lovers will find Perky Jerky in a variety of flavors.”

Hart and Herbertz have plenty of plans ahead for the location, which held its official grand opening on June 19, 2014. “A site called ‘Shop Your Spot’ will allow our customers to opt-in on deals based on geography,” adds Herbertz. “That means that on a particularly hot day, we can push out special deals on an Arctic Rush at the Dairy Queen, for example. We’ll get a logo sign on Hwy. 52 for the location up very shortly too. But for right now, people driving by, the smell of the barbecue at the pumps, and word of mouth is all the advertising we have needed.”