About

The roots of the Baltus Company can be traced back to 1921, when it began as a gas station named the Home Service Station, featuring an outdoor auto lift and a separate building for washing and waxing cars.

Frank M. Baltus became manager of the station in 1926 and became sole proprietor of the business in 1941. Frank's business experienced tough times during the Depression, and during World War II due to gas and tire rationing.

In 1943 Frank's son, Vernon, began working for the company while attending Marshfield Senior High School. In 1963 he built the Baltus Service Center, a full-service gasoline station and automotive service center. A few years later, he added the Baltus Car Wash. It was one of the first automatic car washes in the northern half of the state. Later that year, the business was incorporated as The Baltus Oil Company, Inc.

The 1980's saw a revolution take place in the petroleum industry. Obsolete service stations were replaced by an entirely new marketing concept, the convenience store, or "C-Store". The Baltus Oil Company's first convenience store, named the Bread & Butter Shop, was opened November 1, 1982.

In July 1990 the Baltus Express Lube and Service Center was opened for business. The "express lube" oil change outlet was a new concept at that time, and provided an oil change and maintenance inspection without an appointment in ten minutes or less.

In the early 1990's another trend was emerging in the petroleum industry, combination C-Store/fast-food outlets known as "co-branded" stores. In the spring of 1995, work began on the largest development in the company's history; a Bread and Butter Shop/Subway co-brand, automatic car wash, and a warehouse facility. This development opened August 23, 1995, and features a full size Subway restaurant with seating for 50, a fully automatic exterior car wash, state-of-the-art auto and truck fueling systems, including credit card accepting petroleum dispensers and 3,000 square foot warehouse facility.

In 1998, Baltus purchased property in Wisconsin Rapids and built a strip shopping center, including a Bread & Butter Shop, A&W Restaurant, Subway Restaurant, a car wash, laundromat and dry cleaner. The Baltus Company also purchased two liquor stores, Wines & Spirits and Johnny's Liquor Store. Both liquor operations were incorporated into existing Bread and Butter Shops.

The Baltus Company is currently in its third generation of Baltus family ownership. Vernon Baltus partially retired in 1990 and retired as president in 1993. John Baltus joined the company full-time in 1981 after college graduation. He held positions as sales representative, store manager, company general manager and is currently president of the company. Frank D. Baltus joined the company full-time in 1985 after college graduation, and has held positions as store manager, stores supervisor and is currently vice-president/treasurer.

The Baltus Company has survived all the trials, challenges and changes that the petroleum industry has experienced over the past 85 years. It has evolved from a small service station in 1921, into a multi-faceted corporation with over 100 employees, generating annual sales of over thirty million dollars. It continues to grow and prosper in Marshfield and Central Wisconsin.

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