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Bloomfield is a small town located in Northeast Nebraska that has been named both the busiest city in the area as well as a haven for those who prefer small town life. While the population sits at just over 1,000, the community draws people in from a 30-mile radius, and serves as a hub for all who stop in. It is here, in Bloomfield, where you’ll find the Gill family managing their two businesses – Bloomfield Tire & Oil and Stingers One Stop.
Jeremy Gill, along with his wife, Stacey, and his parents, Ken and Janet Gill, purchased Freeman Oil, Inc. in 2012 from the Freeman Brothers and renamed it Bloomfield Tire & Oil. Jeremy’s ties with the business run deep as he worked for the former owners in high school – gaining valuable knowledge, experience and tricks of the trade. Over the years, Jeremy and his staff have made Bloomfield Tire and Oil is the place to go for any auto, farm, tractor and semi repairs.
While continuing to make a name for themselves, Bloomfield Tire & Oil started running into issues with the old shop – it was too small to fully accommodate for the newer vehicles that are bigger and longer.
The Gill family recognized that in order to continue serving their customer base well, a larger shop was needed.
“The shop got outdated and we needed to build something to really help us accommodate for everything,” Jeremy said.
Around the same time, they noticed the need for a 24-fuel station and convenience store in Bloomfield. From there, the idea for Stingers One Stop was born.
Native360 Loan Fund stepped in to help blend business and family. Pete Upton, Executive Director of Native360, was able to provide the Gill family with financing and educational opportunities to ensure that both businesses would be successful.
“Pete came into the picture and he’s really been a great guy to work with,” Ken Gill said. “You can’t ask for a better relationship than what we’ve got with him. He’s done wonders for us.”
In 2017, the Gills purchased a previously closed convenience store and by May 2018 Stingers One Stop opened with convenience items, homemade pizza, broasted chicken and daily noon specials. Stacey Gill, co-owner, stays busy managing her staff, helping her chef, Marc Sgroi, plan their daily specials, and keeping things moving through the breakfast and lunch rushes. Together, they feed Bloomfield.
Stingers One Stop serves up more than food, they’ve made it a priority to make everyone feel part of the Gill family. Great conversations around the table and laughs amongst staff and customers are in no short supply. It’s just another way they are able to bring family back to the community.
“People were excited to finally have a convenience store in Bloomfield,” Stacey said. “It didn’t take long for the word to spread about our food. In the three years we’ve been open, I’m happy to say our crowds have grown!”
By 2019, Bloomfield Tire & Oil was able to move into the back end of the Stingers building with a bigger shop and expanded equipment.
Keeping the businesses running is truly a family affair. Jeremy and Stacey run Bloomfield Tire & Oil and Stingers One Stop, while Ken and Janet Gill keep things going on the backend. Ken can be found helping with the maintenance of the building, bookkeeping and serving meals over at Stingers One Stop. Janet fills her days by managing accounts, making sure that all the bills are paid and has taken on the marketing role for both businesses.
“We all support each other, and we jump in to help one another when it’s needed,” Janet Gill said. “We love supporting the community and we love having our family close by. It’s really fun working together.”
Through partnership and hard work, Native360 and the Gills have been able to bring family and community back to Main Street.
“It’s been a dream come true,” Jeremy said.