An Upscale Retail Experience

At the onset of the internal combustion engine, the car was a far-away luxury that was not yet as accessible as the horse and buggy. As Henry Ford’s assembly line produced the affordable Model T starting in 1908, the car became a much more attainable luxury. Shortly thereafter, by the end of the 1920’s, approximately 30,000 fuel stations existed in the United States! Now a staple of modern life, the fuel station has evolved hand in hand with the vehicles they serve.

Since the early 1950’s, R. Carlson & Sons has been at the forefront of the small, essential fuel station of the past, and now, the large high-end stations of today.

In the era of the American road trip, fuel stations were a quick stop to use the bathroom and grab a lukewarm hot dog. Now, many modern fuel stations have expanded and improved their amenities, such as in-store video gaming, and meal options, often having one, or multiple, reputable food service tenants. R. Carlson & Sons has worked hand in hand with Thorntons, Speedway, Gas N Wash, Food N Fuel, Graham Enterprises, Murphy USA, Impact Fuel, Delta Sonic, & many more to shake the stereotype of the beaten trail fueling station.

No two fuel station companies or operators are the same, with each having different goals when it comes to size, price, and function. Fuel station owners, such as Gas N Wash, strive for a station that has all the bells and whistles, while others such as Graham Enterprises look to take their beaten path BP station and transform them to exceed every expectation of the average fuel station customer. Ultimately, the most successful modern fuel station companies all look to provide their patrons with an inviting, upscale experience.

Partnering in Transformation

Our extensive partnership with Graham Enterprises has led to a long line of remodels for their aging BP fuel stations. Previously, these stations had less attractive floor and cabinet finishes, paired with old equipment that was worn down after decades of operation. After our construction team transforms these stations, our clients are left with a bright, eye-popping, and attractive storefront. This then leads to a cutting-edge, sharp interior that aligns with a modern sleek design, along with the equipment and product to go along with it. These remodels showcase the transition from bare bones necessities to robust, well equipped stations.

One of our most impressive projects was the Gas N Wash of Sauk Village, completed in the Summer of 2019. Complete with auto and truck canopies, as well as a car wash, and an 8,000 SF convenience store, this location is the epitome of the modern fueling station. Boasting 3 quick service restaurant tenants, including a Dunkin' drive up, a built-in Ta Canijo Mexican Restaurant “Food Truck”, and a Pop’s Italian Beef & Sausage, not to mention the large eating area, the Sauk Village Gas N Wash has it all. Not only do these stations include upscale finishes, they are also unique and eye catching. Along with the diverse food options, this convenience store has high end restrooms, personal shower areas, and a convenience area with a wide spread selection of beverages, snacks, and convenience items that rival other retail competitors, such as Walgreens and CVS. None of this would’ve been possible without the hard work, innovation, and ingenuity at R. Carlson & Sons.

The fuel station industry has evolved and adapted as time has passed. With an increased accessibility of the automobile came more and more fuel stations. As our standard of living has improved, so have the services desired by our most cutting edge clients. And as their needs lead to additional upscale stations, our work and dedication at R. Carlson & Sons move forward with it.

Written By: Nick Cannova, Senior Program Manager & Bill Sieczkowski III, Program Manager

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