FAIRMONT - The Poppe's gas station and car wash on North State Street in Fairmont will soon be under the Cenex brand.
Cenex was once a popular fueling station throughout Martin County. As part of the Nu-Way Cooperatives, there were stations in Fairmont, Sherburn, Welcome, Truman and Trimont, but when those were sold to the Casey's chain a few years ago, Cenex disappeared from Martin County.
That will soon change.
Poppe’s 66 gas station and car wash on North State Street in Fairmont is becoming part of the Cenex brand. A new sign is scheduled to be erected later this week.
"Right now, we're not associated with any retail plan," explained Brian Poppe, owner and manager of Poppe's 66 gas station and car wash in Fairmont. "We were associated with Phillips 66 for a long time, but when they left, we just hooked up with the maker ProFuel. It isn't as well-known around here, and when our contract was up with them, we decided not to renew. We looked for another retail image that would give us more of a competitive edge, and Cenex contacted us because they used to be a big presence, but there are none in Martin County. They're wanting to concentrate on the smaller towns and markets again. They were popular in the area before they were all sold to Casey's."
Knowing that Cenex is familiar to Martin County, and some residents still carry Cenex credit cards, Poppe decided to take on the Cenex franchise.
"It seemed like a good fit," Poppe said. "It would be good retail, and they have a credit card program that would make us able to compete in town."
However, Poppe does not plan to change much with the new Cenex identity.
"Other than a new sign, and new canopies for the pumps outside, it's still going to be Poppe's," he said. "The rest of the store we will freshen up a bit, but we'll be open the whole time. We'll have the same hours; we'll still have the car wash."
Poppe expects to hold a grand reopening celebration toward the end of October.
"We're up and running," he said. "We're already taking the Cenex credit cards."