Contributing Writer Katrina Fuller
Laughter and joy abound on this happiest occasion; a crowd of people gather outside the building and bustle out from inside, arms loaded with prizes, hot dogs and more. A large banner drapes against the wall, bathed in sunlight. “Happy 50th Anniversary ROBO!” it proclaims, celebrating a well-earned milestone in ROBO Enterprises journey to success. After 50 years, the third generation of ROBO Enterprises has no plans of turning back.
ROBO began between father and son in 1964. George Carlson and his father, Augie Carlson, opened their first ROBO location at 1301 E. Second Street in Jamestown. A year later, the Marion Street location opened up, bringing convenience and ease to the masses. In the 80s and 90s, ROBO expanded into self-storage, truck washing, wholesale gas, and self-service car washing along with their established stores. In 1986, Tom Beichner joined ROBO, tying two area families together though innovation and creative solutions. Over the years, ROBO has grown extensively, from two gas stations to a network of convenience stores, an ice cream shop, gas sales, car washes, Laundromats, dog washes, self-storage and more – all while providing service with a smile.
ROBO has locations in Jamestown, Dunkirk, Gowanda and more, offering a plethora of services. Jamestown is home to three convenience stores/gas stations, many of which offer other service options as well. For example, the popular Marion Street location holds a laundromat, a dog wash, a car wash, a gas station, a convenience store, as well as a full service deli. A jack of all trades, ROBO Enterprises provides excellent and original services in a convenient package.
“There is a personal touch to everything that they do,” Gretchen, manager of the Marion Street location, notes. Showing their spirit of giving and their ultimate gratitude, the company hosted a multi-location celebration for their 50 years in business. On September 30th, 2014, at their three Jamestown locations, festivities included: a significant gas sale, dollar off car washes, as well as giveaways and drawings. The joy was abundantly clear at the Marion Street location, one of the oldest in the business. “There have been festivities at all locations, but this has been the main hub,” Gretchen explained. “This is our biggest operation.” From gas card and hockey ticket giveaways to a visit from the Pepsi mascot, the day was packed full of fun and festivities for all.
A family oriented business, the company is still maintained by the Carlson and Beichner families, with the third generation joining in. In the early 2000s, Kim Carlson and Aaron Beichner began working in daily operations and development, bringing innovative ideas to the ever-expanding company. For more than 50 years, the families have combined their efforts to provide quality goods and services to the area, bringing great value and ease into their customers’ lives. “Our success is due to continued support from the entire community and our dedicated employees.” Kim Carlson explains. Looking into the future, the sky is the limit – and ROBO has the dedication to get there.