Coulson Oil is actively involved in selling and leasing convenience stores and supplying branded and unbranded motorfuel products to dealers who already own or lease their location. If you are interested in leasing or purchasing one of our properties, please go to our Real Estate listing.
Thirty years ago, Robert Baynes went to work for a friend at an American gas station on Sixth Street in Little Rock. Back then, “convenience” meant choosing between self-service and full-service. But within six months, Robert had bought the business and was leasing the station from Coulson Oil. And just two years later, he moved to Cabot to take over an Amoco convenience store. The c-store industry was young, and Robert found himself in a whole new world.
Now, he’s a seasoned professional, with two convenience stores in and around Cabot. One is a Phillips 66 station, the other is unbranded. The secret to his success? “Work is in my blood,” he says. “I’m successful because I’ve worked hard.”
Robert stays aware of new products on the market with help from his vendors. He also believes it’s important to offer the best and freshest items available, especially at his deli counters, and to stay well-stocked with the groceries his customers want. He says there’s another key to his longevity in the market. “I think the world of Coulson Oil,” says Robert. “Ray Coulson was like a father to me. They’re easy to work with, and they take care of their dealers. They’ve always treated me well, and given me the opportunity to make something out of myself.”
In 1976, Claude Bradford wanted to go into business for himself. A long-time employee of a Ford Motor dealership and shop foreman for a year; he was interested in being his own boss.
So he and his late wife, Arverla, had a decision to make. When they learned about a space for rent near the intersection of Parkway Drive and MacArthur in North Little Rock, the Bradfords signed a lease with Coulson Oil and set up shop. In 1977, they bought a station at 4123 MacArthur Drive, where they’ve been in business ever since. The store, Bellwood Auto Service, offers Shell gasoline and a full-service garage run by Claude.
Much has changed in the oil industry since Bellwood Auto Service opened. Back then, a load of gas only cost about $6,000. But some things remain the same, like the extended family of customers who stop by regularly. Most are friends or neighbors of the Bradford family.
Claude says the business relationship with Coulson Oil has been strong over the years. “They’ve been good to us,” he says, “and they’ve always tried to help us out in any way they can.”
Linda Grigsby enjoys a challenge. “I believe that if you don’t learn something different or do something different every year, you’ve wasted a year,” she says. This adventuresome spirit led her to take on a new career when she bought Town and Country Grocery on North Main Street in Hamburg.
The c-store industry was totally new to Linda, who had a professional background in manufacturing. When she took over her unbranded dealership in 2001, she says, “I had never worked in a convenience store, never ordered fuel or groceries. I learned by trial and error.”
Linda’s gotten a lot of support from Jim White at Coulson Oil. “They’ve been so kind to me. I also have wonderful people working for me. We’ve built such a strong team,” she says. “We decided we’d work hard when we’re at the store, but we’ll also have fun. We laugh and visit with our customers. Our group really cares about each other.”
Getting her business off the ground took hard work and a huge time commitment, but Linda’s efforts have paid off. In 2002, Town and Country was named “Business of the Year” for Ashley County (AR) by the local Chamber of Commerce.