1957 was a very important year in the history of Jetz, for this is the year Jetz history begins.
• The book The Cat in the Hat was written by Dr. Suess
• The average house cost $12,220
• Milk cost $1.00 per gallon
• The Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible was the most popular car
• Dwight D. Eisenhower just began his second term
• O'Connor Petroleum Co., Inc. built its first gas station in Milwaukee Wisconsin
In the late 1950's Robert O'Connor was in the home delivery coal business and saw that people were converting to other fuel sources to heat their homes. In 1957 he opened the first O'Connor gas station in Milwaukee on the corner of 92nd and Hampton. This was a state-of-the-art location for its time, a two bay garage and a small store selling candy and soda. As time went on Robert grew the company to 5 locations and transitioned from two bay garages to convenience stores selling, milk, coffee, and some grocery items.
In 1992 two grandsons, Tim Klein and Bob O'Connor, purchased the business and began to transform these older stores to the state-of-the-art locations you are familiar with today. In 2003, Tim and Bob decided to change the name O'Connor Express Marts to Jetz Convenience Centers which allowed for a federal trademark and better fit their vision of where the convenience industry was heading.
In 1997 Tim and Bob opened their first "convenience center" which featured two quick serve restaurants, Culvers and Subway, and two touchless car washes. Their belief was that time was becoming more valuable and it would be more convenient for customers to be able to accomplish many things with one stop. Jetz Convenience Centers now feature restaurants, car washes, ATM's, JetzFresh sandwiches and salads, JetzJava coffee, JetzGrill items, a "best in class" rewards program, JetzRewards, and more! Their goal is to continue to improve the Jetz offering to make the lives of their customers continually more rewarding.
The future of the convenience industry is bright and there is a bright group of fourth generation family members poised to continue the Jetz business and brand. There is one fourth generation family member, Mary, working now, with hopefully more to follow. Most likely this next generation will face challenges similar to Robert... new forms of energy, new products and new store formats. What does the future hold? Will customers be filling their vehicles with hydrogen, electricity, compressed natural gas or some other form of alternative fuel? Will new products that make daily life more convenient or fulfilling come to market? How will new technologies change the definition of convenience? The convenience industry changes quickly. Tim and Bob will be certain to maintain vigilance as different segments of their business evolve. They promise to bring forward those segments that show promise just as soon as they become viable. Of one thing we are certain, serving convenience will always be in heavy demand.
Over the life of the company, the secret of Jetz's success has always been the quality of the people who have worked there. Jetz is not a company of convenience stores, but a company of people. Jetz team members work hard to create a warm and inviting shopping experience for you, their customers. Jetz offers competitive wages and flexible hours. It is the belief of Jetz that team members should have time to enjoy their individual family and friends in addition to their Jetz family. Jetz is proud to have built a business centered on people.
Jetz understands the importance of community. Over the years Jetz has contributed to numerous local groups, causes and individuals in need of support. Jetz believes that by supporting those who support their community, people work together to improve the place they live, work and shop. We are proud to be a part of every community we have the opportunity to serve.
Jetz would like to become a routine part of your busy day. Tim and Bob invite you to stop in and see for yourself why Jetz is such a refreshing and rewarding brand. Remember to "Refresh at Jetz...We Reward!"