foodservice workers hand-bread in the store before
frying. The lunch and dinner menu includes traditional fried chicken, bite-sized chicken, chicken tenders,
potato wedges, fish sandwiches and other country
staples. The breakfast menu has a breakfast biscuit
and a breakfast croissant. He rounded out the foodservice program with an extensive beverage selection,
including frozen carbonated drinks, a full coffee bar
with cappuccinos and lattes, fresh brewed iced tea,
and fountain and bottled soft drinks.
In addition, the store offers more healthful fare;
Jones added an open air cooler last year to stock
freshly made salads, wraps, sandwiches, fruit cups
and veggie cups. “We move a fair amount of product
to warrant having the equipment and extra labor to
rotate the cooler stock properly,” he said. “By offering
healthier food, we can appeal to a wider audience.”
We All Scream for Ice Cream
Having ice cream in the store wasn’t even on the radar
when Jones first put together the foodservice program.
What changed his mind? The company that provided
the chicken program also sold Ashby’s Sterling ice
cream. “When I saw the ice cream display from this
company, I knew it would be the prefect fit for our store
because it’s a very creamy, high butter fat ice cream that
went along with the whole idea of Johnny Junxions not
being your ordinary gas station,” said Jones.
To sell the ice cream, Jones installed a soda fountain with high stools at a counter along with a few
1950s-style booths. A “soda jerk” hand-scoops 16 flavors of ice cream to make cones, shakes, malts, banana
splits, floats and sundaes. During the summer, customers can enjoy a cool treat outside at picnic tables.
The 3,500-square-foot store also carries many convenience store staples — cigarettes, lottery tickets, salty
snacks — but store management chooses not to sell
alcohol, noted Jones. Its candy selection boasts many
retro items that were popular during the mid-20th century, including Smartie suckers and lemonheads.
The attention to customers has paid off over the store’s
10 years in business. Jones sells the volume of four to
five c-stores in ice cream alone. He uses Facebook and
Twitter to connect with customers, as well as its website and fountain and coffee club punch card programs.
“Overall, we try to develop a personal relationship
with the customer by getting to know them on a first
name basis,” he said. “We’ve tried to create an environ-
ment so that customers realize that we do care about
them, not just their business.”
For instance, one corner booth in the store is
dedicated to a local nonagenarian, Red Ritter. “He
used to own a gas station across the street from this
location, and we’ve decorated a wall by this booth
with photos of his World War II service,” said Jones,
adding that the 94-year-old Ritter can often be
found in “his” corner.
Johnny Junxions seeks other ways to give back
to community. “We’re not just about making money
— we’re also about giving back to the community,”
Jones pointed out. The store hosts as many charitable events onsite as it can, such as having a local
Relay for Life night where team members pump
gas and wash cars for free, while Johnny Junxions
gives the team a penny per gallon of gasoline sold on
Mondays during that month.
A youth group scooped ice cream on a Friday
night with Johnny Junxions giving the teens 50% of
the profit from the night’s sales. On Halloween, the
store hosts a classic car show with each car owner
handing out candy to costumed youngsters. An
onsite pumpkin patch gave out free pumpkins and
Jones hired a professional photographer to snap
pictures. “We prefer to engage the community at
our location so that our customers can see firsthand
that we’re giving back,” he said.
In the future, Jones would like to spread his brand of
nostalgia and great customer service to other Johnny
Junxions locations, but for now he’s content to focus
on serving his community with a smile.
Sarah Hamaker is a NACS Magazine and NACS
Daily contributing writer. Visit her online at www.
A “soda jerk” hand scoops 16 flavors of ice cream to make
cones, shakes, malts, banana splits, floats and sundaes.