Springfield, Mo.-based Gier Oil Co., with more than 50 Eagle Stop c-stores in Missouri, closed out 2020 with the launch of its On the Fly Market pizza program, which features pizzas with freshly baked crusts, fresh mozzarella cheese and authentic Italian ingredients.
The program is set to offer innovative flavors and local collaborations, thanks to the creativity and passion of Gier Oil Co. Food Service Director Jon Siron and his team, who aim to bring fresh options to the communities where Eagle Stop serves.
For all this and more, CStore Decisions is recognizing Gier Oil Co. with a “Best Foodservice Launch” designation for its On the Fly Market pizza program.
A Pizza Program Is Born
While the program looks — and tastes — impressive, creating the pizza program was relatively simple, Siron said.
The team procured and sampled different crusts, toppings and sauce options from vendors. Last but not least, Siron spent time in the kitchen, developing the menu and creating each of the recipes.
“We hit the basics on offerings but then ran with some recipe ideas and tested the outcome,” he said. “It was a very necessary and delicious task.”
The result is a line of pizzas that have quality, freshly baked crust, zesty and savory sauce and 100% fresh mozzarella cheese, with top-tier, real Italian ingredients — always fresh, never frozen.
Customer favorites so far are the “Dang Hippie” — the veggie option, made with fresh vegetables and mozzarella on homemade pesto — and the “One Chance Fancy,” a Margherita pizza topped with arugula, olive oil, seasoning and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
Pepperoni may always be a top seller, Siron said, but there’s real opportunity for innovation.
In fact, he’s already eyeing a few limited-time offers (LTOs) and a collaboration with a local barbecue company for a brisket pizza next fall, which will feature locally grown, organic vegetables and farm-raised pork and beef.
“What has been so surprising and encouraging is how rural towns that are generally expected to be a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of area are actually falling in love with the ‘irregular’ options that we now offer,” Siron said. “One farmer told me that our Taco Pie is the best pizza he’s ever had! We are rethinking everything we ever knew about the communities we serve.”
Reinventing ‘Gas Station Food’
Siron, who was among CStore Decisions’ 2020 class of 40 Under 40 c-store leaders to watch, was initially hired for a different leadership position at the company. Just one week into his training, it was clear he belonged in foodservice.
“I have 20 years in the foodservice industry, and every store I would visit, I couldn’t stop talking about all the opportunities and ideas I had for our kitchens,” he said. “They quickly moved me into the position I currently hold as the food and beverage director.”
Siron is passionate about foodservice and feels fortunate that the company’s owners are on the same page, that they see the importance of investing in Eagle Stop’s foodservice program, which offers an extensive array of options for customers.
Depending on the size of the location, Eagle Stop stores’ menus range from breaded chicken sandwiches, roller grill sausages, freshly made sushi, teriyaki chicken and fried rice, freshly baked biscuits for biscuits and gravy, quarter-pound 100% all angus beef bacon cheeseburgers — and now a “stellar pizza program.”
“It is vital that we stay relevant in our offerings,” Siron said. “I want to reinvent what people imagine as typical ‘gas station food.’”