Baltus sells stores to Riiser
By City Times staff
MARSHFIELD– John Baltus announced on Nov. 14 that Baltus Oil Company’s eight Bread & Butter Shops in Nekoosa, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, and Stratford have been sold to Riiser Fuel Holdings of Wausau.
“I am in my 60s and Riiser is in an expansion mode, so it just made sense to align with them and make the sale happen,” Baltus said.
Baltus says he will maintain his wholesale fuel distribution service.
“It’s going to be kind of a culture shock for us here, to go from about a 145 employees to four, and mostly drivers,” he added.
Baltus says he’s not sure what name you might end up seeing on those Bread & Butter Shops, because of the recent acquisition of Riiser by GPM Investments based in Virginia.
Meanwhile, Baltus says Riiser has hired almost all of the current Baltus employees.
“They’ve hired all of our employees with a few exceptions, where the fit wasn’t right – office-type personnel,” Baltus said. “I think we have one or two office people who are going to move onto something different, because of the new structure, the new organization structure of Riiser and GPM Investments. But, by enlarge, all of our employees have been rehired by Riiser Fuels and GPM will do the same thing, as I understand it.
Baltus says he’s pleased with what his family was able to accomplish through the years.
“It’s been wonderful for my family,” Baltus said. “My dad and my mother, we had a big family of 10 kids in the family. All of the kids worked in the company at one point or another. Everybody learned a lot in the business.
“It has just been fabulous for our family and our tradition, to carry on what our grandfather had started and what my dad and mom did throughout the years. And then, to carry the ball to the third generation and accomplish what we did with my brothers and myself being in this for so many years.
“Really proud of what we brought to the community, and we are even more appreciative of all of those customers, all of those years, who have stuck with us and purchased goods and services from us for over 100 years.”
The Baltus Oil Company can be traced back to 1927, when it began as a single gas station in Marshfield. Over the years the company transformed itself into a company with eight convenience stores and a wholesale fuel distribution business and heating oil.
John and his brothers became third generation marketers when they joined their father Vern in the business in the 1980s. John became president of Baltus Oil in 1993.
Wausau-based Riiser Fuels has grown to a total of 67 stores in Wisconsin while continuing to grow. Baltus says Riiser had approached him about a possible acquisition several times in recent years.