Par Mar Stores can trace its roots to Par Mar Oil Company, Inc. which was established in 1967 as a full line petroleum jobber by Joseph G. Grow of Parkersburg, WV and James L. Hollister of Marietta, Ohio. In search of a name, Mr. Grow and Mr. Hollister decided on Par Mar, Par for Parkersburg, WV and Mar for Marietta, OH.
At the onset Par Mar Oil Co. began business with 3 full time employees serving commercial, industrial and consumer accounts with oils, greases, gasoline, diesel fuels, heating oils, and various other petroleum products. Par Mar's initial petroleum affiliation was Amoco Oil Co. which led to the dealer sector of the business. This division grew to service 55 independent dealers with the Amoco Brand.
In 1979 Par opened its first convenience store on Ohio State Rt. 7 South, now Par Mar #7. Mr. James L. Hollister (J.L.) then the president of Par Mar had left town for a few days on a business trip. His oldest son, William C. (Bill) had long tried to convince his father to enter the convenience store/gasoline business. J.L. wanted no part of it and steadfastly refused each and every attempt by Bill to proceed. Bill felt with J.L. out of town the opportunity and timing was right. With a loan of $11,500.00 Bill secured from a local bank, Par Mar Stores was actually born overnight, initially doing business as Par Mar Shop N Save. To J.L.'s shock and surprise upon his return it was too late to turn back, thus the convenience store division began.
Par Mar Oil Co., Inc. grew into a multi state petroleum distributor with distribution centers in Marietta and Gallipolis, OH and Charleston, WV with numerous national brands of lubricants, gasolines, and fuels. The convenience store division grew along with petroleum business and all operating entities of Par Mar peaking in 1988 with annual sales in excess of $30,000,000 and employees exceeded 125 people.
In January of 1988 Bill Hollister purchased the ownership interest of James L., his father and James A., his brother. Subsequent to the purchase, Bill wanted to concentrate on the convenience store division and sold all other operating entities of Par Mar with the exception of the convenience stores and the independent dealers. Par Mar currently operates 46 convenience stores with over 455 employees.
The name change to Par Mar Stores occurred in approximately 1987 as it was determined beneficial to make the name Par Mar more predominate. Quality people and quality service had become synonymous with Par Mar, and as it shall also be with the convenience stores.
Par Mar Stores is technically an operating division of Par Mar Oil Co., Inc. which is one of several companies operating under the umbrella of Par Mar Companies. Other members of the Par Mar families include: Phones Unlimited, Inc., a public pay telephone company, Gas 'n Goods, Inc., a conveniences store company, W.C. Hollister Leasing, a leasing company of automobiles and computer equipment, G 'n G Leasing, a real estate development and rental company, PM Transportation Services, Inc., a common carrier trucking company, and NBS, Inc., d.b.a. Smoker Friendly, a volume discount cigarette chain retailer.
Par Mar Stores will continue to be the central focus of the Par Mar Companies with the expansion of more stores and the addition of quality Par Mar people in the years to come. – less–ZoomInfo