Par Mar Stores can trace its roots to Par Mar Oil Company 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 Company 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 Mar 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 Company 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 52 convenience stores and 16 Quick Serve Restaurants with over 700 employees.
Par Mar Today
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 that trend continues today with the convenience stores and Quick Serve Restaurants.
Par Mar Stores is technically an operating division of Par Mar Oil Company. Par Mar Stores will
continue to grow with the expansion of new stores, Quick Serve Restaurants and qualified, friendly
Par Mar staff!