ASHLAND – Throughout the years in Ashland, residents have seen businesses come and go. Some came only momentarily and others have stood in place for several years. For Sam and Nina Shoup, along with their sons, hard work, determination and a love for their community is how they ended up with two of the most successful businesses in Ashland. Shoup's Tire and Lube and Marathon Gas has served Benton County for over 30 years, but they didn’t start as they are today.
It all started in 1970s with a two-day garage ran by Sam and Nina Shoup. This garage, then known as Standard Oil, was where Shoup’s Tire and Lube stands today. “I was brought up on a farm, and always worked on equipment so opening a garage kind of came naturally,” said Shoup.
Shoup said that while running the two-day garage he and his wife would constantly talk of having more places to eat lunch. “There always seemed to be a lack of places to eat in Ashland at that time. We always wished we had more,” said Shoup. Shoup said that he and his wife would also make a lot of change for customers of the car wash located down the street from his garage.
Sam Shoup also became interested in getting into the gasoline business. “I had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated. Growing up, it seemed that the most prosperous people in town seemed to be the people who owned gas stations,” Shoup said with a laugh. “So I decided if the opportunity ever presented itself I would get into gasoline.”
Shoup said that his parents and wife tried to talk him out of it at first, but in 1997 with a some help from his parents and a lot of hard work, Shoup turned his dream into his reality. Shoup said it wasn't easy, however, when first trying to break into the gasoline business. He said, "We didn't inherit this business. I was lucky enough to have parents who helped me, but my wife and I are no stranger to hard work and we worked very hard to get to where we are today. The Lord has truly blessed us." Shoup bought the piece of property where the car wash and building owned by Mr. Farrow Rogers stood. That store would first be called the Citgo Super Center. It featured gasoline pumps, tanning beds, video tape rentals and a restaurant.
In 2013, the Shoups rebuilt what was once their two-day garage and renamed it Shoup's Tire and Lube.
Citgo Super Center ran successfully for 20 years until January of this year when the Shoups decided to change to a Marathon gas station.
From then to now
Shoup's Tire and Lube, located at 120 Ripley Avenue, offers oil changes, tire services, brake services, front end work and other minor mechanical work. It operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Sam Shoup talks of the garage and his sons saying, “My sons do a fantastic job compared to when we had the old-fashioned two day garage.” The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree when it comes to modesty in this family. Shoup’s son Michael says, “There are no words to describe the amazing work done by my parents to get to where we are today.”
The services provided at this business have not gone unnoticed by customers. Patron, Jason Valentine had this to say of Shoup's Tire and Lobe, “This was actually my first time coming here, but the people were friendly and the service was fast.”
Other customers make no secret of the great services they have received at this business as well, often taking to Google Reviews and giving them five star ratings.
Marathon Gas, located at 16226 Boundary Drive, features a convenient store, gasoline pumps, pizza, a small deli, ice cream shop, dining area, car wash and other services. It operates Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
There is plenty that one could say about these owners and their businesses. Benton County Circuit Clerk Kathy Graves said, "The Shoup family is one of the most upstanding families in our community. Their businesses help satisfy a great demand for our residents and I personally know of a lot of good they do for our community." Shoup's Tire and Lube and Marathon Gas are very great businesses, but residents are encouraged to visit both to find out for themselves.