States, Stores, and Employee Counts:
States: OH, WV, PA, KY, & MD
Store Count: 228 Stores
Employee Count: 2,600+ Employees
"Par Mar" Name Meaning:
"Par" = Parkersburg (WV) "Mar" = Marietta (OH)
Committed to Your Convenience!
Welcome to Par Mar Stores' website! Explore our brands, meet our partners, and discover the friendly faces behind your local Par Mar Store. Our food and fuel franchises are trusted for a reason. Check in often for updates on promotions, events, and community news.
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"To be the best there is" in what we do, by providing consumers and businesses with professional service and attention to all their needs in an honest and straightforward manner, while demanding excellence in the quality of our products, competitive productivity from PAR MAR employees, and old-fashioned profitability from our efforts, allowing PAR MAR to grow and meet the needs and demands of our customers, both now and in the future, with a smile.
We are committed to an optimistic, can-do winning attitude. Offensively minded.
We are committed to putting the customer first. We will bring together the people, resources, and expertise best suited to meet our customers' needs.
We are committed to treating others as you want to be treated. Fairness, integrity, honesty, and truth are imperative.
HARD WORK & FUN:
We are committed to giving that "extra effort" required "to be the best there is" and enjoying it as we do it.
We are committed to providing professionally trained people teamed with superior programs and top-notch products, resulting in benefits for our customers.
First Convenience Store
Growth begins away from home
Solidifying the future
Growth begins in other markets
Year of Covid
Growth continues after Covid
Growth continues in other markets
Par Mar Stores has its origins in Par Mar Oil Company, which was founded in 1967 as a comprehensive petroleum jobber. It was established by Joseph G. Grow of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and James L. Hollister of Marietta, Ohio. When looking for a name, Mr. Grow and Mr. Hollister decided on "Par Mar," with "Par" representing Parkersburg, WV, and "Mar" representing Marietta, OH.
In 1979, Par Mar opened its first convenience store on Ohio State Rt. 7 South, which is now known as Par Mar #7. At that time, Mr. James L. Hollister (J.L.), who was the president of Par Mar, had temporarily left town on a business trip. Meanwhile, his oldest son, William C. (Bill), had persistently tried to persuade his father to enter the convenience store and gasoline business. J.L. had initially resisted the idea and firmly declined each of Bill's attempts to move forward with it. However, with J.L. out of town, Bill saw an opportunity and believed that the timing was right. He secured a loan of $11,500.00 from a local bank, and Par Mar Stores was actually established overnight, initially operating under the name Par Mar Shop N Save. When J.L. returned, he was shocked and surprised to find that it was too late to reverse the decision, and thus, the convenience store division of Par Mar began.
Par Mar Oil Company expanded into a multi-state petroleum distributor with distribution centers in Marietta and Gallipolis, Ohio, and Charleston, West Virginia, offering various national brands of lubricants, gasoline, and fuels. The convenience store division also grew alongside the petroleum business. By 1987, all operating entities of Par Mar reached their peak, with annual sales exceeding $30,000,000 and employing over 125 people. In January of 1988, Bill Hollister acquired the ownership interests of James L., his father, and James A., his brother. Following this purchase, Bill decided to focus on the convenience store division and subsequently sold all other operating entities of Par Mar, except for the convenience stores and the independent dealers.
Par Mar Stores continued to grow throughout the 1990s, and by the turn of the century, they had expanded to twenty (20) convenience stores, primarily in the Parkersburg, WV, and Marietta, OH, areas. Additionally, Par Mar acquired two former Dairy Mart locations, in St. Albans and Hurricane, West Virginia.
In the 2000s, Par Mar Stores expanded into the Fairmont and Morgantown markets and collaborated with Woodford Development Company to establish stores in towns including Elkins, Dailey, Huttonsville, Franklin, Slaty Fork, Salt Rock, and West Union. Par Mar Stores also partnered with Woodford Development Company to acquire former Little John's convenience store locations in Ashland, Huntington, Gallipolis Ferry, Mason, Pomeroy, Wilkesville, Vinton, as well as two stores in Gallipolis, Ohio. In 2007, Par Mar Stores extended its presence into the Zanesville, Ohio market with the acquisition of three stores from the Sands Retail Group. Par Mar Stores also introduced its first restaurants, opening 10 Subway Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). In the 2000s, Par Mar also added individual stores in St. Albans, Kenova, Jackson, Ohio, and Marietta, Ohio.
Croton Holding Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, owned by Parkersburg, WV, native, Milo Ritton, purchased Par Mar Stores on April 1, 2016. At the time of purchase, Par Mar operated 50 convenience stores and 16 Quick Service Restaurants, consisting of 15 Subways and 1 A&W Restaurant. With the purchase of Par Mar Stores, 14 Croton Holding-owned stores in Pennsylvania were also added to the chain, bringing Par Mar's store count to 64 heading into the Summer of 2016. For the rest of 2016, Par Mar added 12 more stores, including the acquisition of Bandy's Inc. of Lookout, West Virginia.
In 2017, Par Mar added 6 stores, including stores owned by Bob Byers in Reno and Newport, Ohio.
In 2018, Par Mar added 21 stores. Par Mar also opened its second A&W Restaurant in Pleasant Valley, West Virginia.
In 2019, Par Mar added 34 stores, including 8 All-American Valeros in Chillicothe, Ohio, 3 Rich Oil Stores from Marathon Petroleum, and 17 Mountaineer Mart Stores in December 2019.
In 2020, Par Mar added its first Arby's restaurant in New Brighton, Pennsylvania, along with 20 new store additions.
In 2021, Par Mar added 12 stores, including three Goldsberry locations located in Athens, Ohio, and the Jane Lew Travel Plaza. Par Mar also opened its second Arby's location in Sarver, Pennsylvania.
In 2022, Par Mar added 38 stores. Par Mar also opened its third Arby's in Jane Lew, West Virginia, in December.
So far through 2023, Par Mar has added 16 stores, including the acquisition of six Dairy Queens and the opening of a new IHOP in Jane Lew, West Virginia. Par Mar also launched The Donut Spot, situated in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Par Mar now employs over 2,600 people across 5 states.