Gas Station Gourmet
JAM ON IT
A strong focus on the customer experience
leads to success for this Arkansas retailer.
BY AL HEBERT
Fun and different were the words Jolene Baker, Aaron Littlefield and Melissa Arter- bury embraced, along with three other partners, when they conceived of JAM Mart. Even the name, taken from the first letter of their names
— J A M — has a sense of amusement to it.
“We wanted something upscale with a fun
environment,” said Brad Arterbury, partner and
president of the Arkansas-based company. Tyson
Washburn, vice president of operations agreed,
“We didn’t want the same grumpy person behind
the counter without a smile. We have upbeat tunes
playing. We don’t clutter windows with promotional
signs. It’s a well lit, clean, happy environment.” The
goal is to offer a pleasant stop in a hectic world.
The first store was leased from Littlefield Oil
Company in Paris, Arkansas, in 2001. “We were
brand new. We came in, cleaned up, re-merchan-
dized and added a car wash,” said Arterbury. Today,
there are nine locations throughout the state.
JAM Mart wants to appeal to moms, construction
workers, kids — basically everyone. To aid in that, they
incorporated things that give customers an opportunity to actively participate in the shopping experience.
For example, a f’real machine allows customers to
make their own fresh smoothies and milkshakes.
“We wanted something people could interact
with. There’s only one other store in Fort Smith that
has it. Our staff is trained to educate customers on
how use it. It makes great milkshakes,” Washburn
said, adding, “It sets us apart and customers love it.
It’s worth the investment.”
A logo redesign and the deli’s trademarked slogan,
“We be jammin” is also part of the shopping experience. Developing the perfect private label coffee for the
Over the years, the delis at
JAM Mart have gained a
reputation for good food.
JAM Mart at night