Three area gas stations were recently purchased by Applegreen, an international gas retailer based in Ireland. They include the Freedom Station at 311 Belknap St. and the Holiday Station across the street at 406 Belknap St. in Superior as well as the Hermantown Holiday Station at 4221 Haines Road.
It was business as usual at the neighboring Superior stores Tuesday, Oct. 15. Applegreen retained all the employees — five at the Freedom store and nine at Holiday. No immediate changes were planned.
“The customers won’t notice much of a difference at all until spring,” Freedom manager Kyle Pipkorn said.
Holiday manager Ryan Brown said upgrades are expected over then next year, including new gas pumps. Applegreen often pairs a fast food franchise with its properties, according to its website.
Brown said the two Holiday stores were privately owned franchise stores, not corporate stores. All three gas stations had been owned by CrossAmerica and were sold to Applegreen on Aug. 28.
Pipkorn has been working at the Freedom station for 13 years and has seen it change hands before. It’s a “same thing, different day” sort of event, he said.
The Freedom gas station has been in service since 1958 and was originally owned by Erickson Oil.
“Some of our customers have been coming here every day for longer than I’ve been working here,” Pipkorn said.
At times, they chat about employees they knew in the 1980s.
“It’s been a cornerstone of the community for a long time,” Pipkorn said. “If people keep coming, we’ll stay open.”
Across the street, Brown has worked at Holiday for the last decade. He enjoys the relationships he’s built with customers over the years and the many layers of the job.
“It’s always something different every day,” Brown said. “There’s never a dull moment, I guess.”