Oklahoma gas and convenience store chain Jiffy Trip made history on Thursday, Feb. 23, when they opened its first location outside of Oklahoma in Siloam Springs.
Jiffy Trip Chief Operating Officer Alex Williams said the company originated in Northwest Oklahoma, which does not have a large population and is mainly centered around oil, gas, wheat and cattle.
"We wanted to diversify a little bit," Williams said. "And so we looked at a lot of neighboring states and communities -- Northwest Arkansas for a lot of different reasons."
Siloam Springs was chosen partly because of U.S. Hwy 412, which connects to Tulsa, Okla., and the Northwest Arkansas cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville and Rogers, Williams said. He also said Siloam Springs seems like a great community and Williams has friends that live here.
Jiffy Trip was founded in 1972 in Cherokee, Okla., and has 26 stores in Oklahoma and one in Arkansas, Williams said. A second Jiffy Trip is currently being constructed at U.S. 412 and Elm Street in Siloam Springs.
Williams said the plan to put build Jiffy Trips in Arkansas has been in the works for two years, Williams said. Jiffy Trip had looked at all of the surrounding states around Oklahoma and found that Arkansas and Oklahoma have similar population numbers, Williams said.
Another selling point was that Arkansas does not have a lot of regulations which make it easier to operate their business. Along with Siloam Springs, Jiffy Trip locations are also planned for Fort Smith and Rogers, Williams said.
What separates Jiffy Trip from other convenience store chains is a focus on what the customer wants, Williams said.
"To me, a store, a gas station is meant to grab a candy bar and, you know, a pop or something like that," Williams said. "But we have over 1,000 drink choices ... They want to be able to have choices. They want to be able to shop how they want."
Another difference, Williams said, was a restaurant that is not a chain but owned by Jiffy Trip itself which serves a variety of meals.
Brand Manager Lindsey Fry also pointed to the coffee and cappuccino machines and their fountain machine.
"There's so many options from ages two years old all the way up," Fry said. "And that's what people want is variety."