North Carolina Marathon brand stations cater to niche market
Marathon brand stations are independently owned and operated, which makes each one unique. In North Carolina, for example, Reaben Oil Company features microbrewery offerings at five of its convenience stores.
When employees on third shift get off work in the early hours of the morning, there’s really nowhere they can go to unwind for a few minutes as a group, explained Beau Waddell of Reaben Oil Company, headquartered in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The solution was to develop a new microbrew niche offering at many of Reaben's stores.
Five of Reaben’s 10 Triangle Stop convenience stores so far now feature microbrewery offerings, featuring local brews that are rotated through the taps. Customers can sit and enjoy a glass of brew, or take it out with them sealed in one-quart growlers. Reaben has branded the new concept as Mountain River Tap.
There’s definitely a local cachet to this, noted Waddell. “The area is home to several craft breweries, and the idea that the brews are made right down the street makes it cool for customers,” he says. “The area is home to the popular Sierra Nevada brewery, near our location at the Asheville regional airport, so naturally we feature many of their brews.”
Waddell says their goal is to have beer and cider on tap that you can’t buy in bottles or cans. “Our taps feature offerings from a total of 40 different breweries, and we have a total of 60 taps between the five stores,” said Waddell. “Our associates are trained to ask people what they drink on a regular basis, so they can match them up with something they will like. We recently added our 500th beer type, and we also carry a variety of flavored ciders.”
Reaben has been a Marathon partner for the past seven years. “It was a great transition, and we are really thrilled to be a part of the Marathon family,” added Waddell.