PLEASANT HILL – Nowadays, everybody has extra time on their hands to search the county for the best spots to pump gas. And with gas prices at a longtime low, there has never been a better opportunity to find some premium pump. Our team tested out every gas station in Miami County, and unanimously agreed on the best: Marathon in Pleasant Hill.
First of all, let’s talk about how serene this downtown area is. There are 0 humans, and 0 animals scurrying about. It’s completely silent, and visitors are greeted by a friendly statue placed smack in the middle of the street. The statue stands as a tactic to stop drunk drivers in their tracks as they speed to the only spot in town to buy booze: Marathon.
Marathon is easy to find, as there are no other businesses in town with flashy blue colors and fancy digital signage. Whether you’re coming from Troy to the east, or tech capital Union Township from the south, you simply can’t miss the bright lights on this fine pumpery.
Since there are not many cars in town, visitors can really whip it into the parking lot and double park the vehicle across 2 gas pumps. And because there are no people around, you can keep the stereo turned all the way up and light a cig or two. Nobody will stop you from being you!
If you go inside the shop, you might think it’s empty. However, the clerk is just around the corner, staying slightly out of your sight so you aren’t pressured to get in and out too quickly. You could spend several hours looking over their vast selection of suspicious meat products, and completely forget that you’re just at a gas station!
The beer selection is unreal. They have IPAs, Double IPAs, Pilsners, Stouts, Sours, Ales, Lagers, Doppelbocks, Barley Wines, Hefeweizens, Grisettes, Goses, Tripels, Triple IPAs, Saisons, Quadruple IPAs, Malt Liquor, and Hard Seltzers. And if you really want to get crazy, they have a fine rack of Barefoot Wines located in the nearest aisle. Our team spent over 2 hours looking over the selection, thanks to Marathon who gave us a complimentary tasting of each alcoholic beverage. And while trying all of the fancy booze, we completely forgot about the double-parked vehicle left at the pump!
While their slushie and smoothie section may leave something to be desired, this gas station more than makes up for it in hospitality. The clerk is always ready with a fresh smile and a two pack of mango White Owl cigarillos. No less than 23 times during our two hour trip did an employee come up to us and ask how we were doing or, “can I get you… something not in store?”. While we never needed any help finding products since the store was so well stocked, it was nice to know Marathon was there to lend a helping hand.
Owner Tito Poppems says it all comes down to respect. “If I don’t respect my employees, they won’t respect our customers, and it leads to a bad situation” the 55 year old entrepreneur said. “I’m not gonna give my employees any grief over trying to make some money on the side at work, that’s just not my business.”
Poppems said he’s exploring potential partnerships with Sweetgreen to open their first first gas station/salad restaurant, as well as the first Sweetgreen in the Miami Valley. Poppems hopes to balance out his customer demographic by bringing in millennial customers from the neighboring tech hub in Union Township.
While the future remains on Poppems’ mind, his main focus today is on keeping his customers happy. “Without my customers, I’m nothing. I’m just a worthless little piggy eating my own dung in a salad bar at Sizzler. Truly, they’re my focus every day when I wake up, and every night when I go to bed. I would have no reason for living if not for my customers”.
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