With the help of Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. (REI) and First United Bank & Trust, Durant, what was once Jiffy Mart is now the new and expanded Push ‘Em Station on Highway 70 which is double the size of the old Jiffy Mart that Donny Simmons operated since 1984. The store is situated roughly 5 miles from Durant and 5 miles from Lake Texhoma.
Simmons had purchased the 33-acre property adjacent to Jiffy Mart 10 years ago in anticipation of the two-lane highway becoming a four-lane highway. He put Noah’s Ark Car Wash on the property for starters but he and his wife, Brenda, pursued their dream of building a new store that would provide customers with everything from breakfast items to pizza, Backyard BBQ, frozen shakes, cappuccinos, iced and frozen coffees, grocery items and a full range of beverages.
That dream came true a year ago when Push ‘Em Station opened its doors. The new location can also fuel up to eight vehicles at a time while the old store could accommodate just four cars at once. At the new location customers can also enjoy a large seating area that can accommodate 40-50 diners and it’s complete with a TV.
The new store is named after the area in which it is located, Simmons said. When he bought Jiffy Mart, there was an old water well across the street that dates back to the 1950s. When good water was scarce, people came in their Model A or Model T to get water from the well. The sand around the well was so deep that people had to push their vehicles out, and hence the name, Push ‘Em.
This history is incorporated into Push’Em Station. The coffee bar is designed to resemble the water well and a mural over the cooler section, drawn by a local artist, portrays a woman in her car being pushed from the sand.
Push ‘Em Station has a family atmosphere where customers are called by name and greeted with a warm welcome. Tourists receive the same kind of personal service with a big welcome to southeastern Oklahoma.
When asked about the challenges he faced with the expansion, Simmons said his biggest headache came from trying to oversee every area. Now, Donny focuses on food service and Backyard BBQ while Brenda handles payroll and training the front-counter associates.
For additional information about establishing or expanding an existing business, call Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc. at 800-658-2823.