Seymour’s new Signal Food Store will open for business at month’s end.
On Friday, April 30, to be exact.
“We were shooting for next Wednesday, April 28, but it looks like we won’t make that date because we’re waiting on asphalt,” explained Sean Bumgarner, vice president of the Scrivener Oil Company in Ozark, which owns Signal. “So, April 30 is the new target date, and I’m very confident that our doors will open that day.”
As of Monday, Bumgarner said there “isn’t a whole lot left” in readying the new store for business, adding that all the gasoline pumps were being installed that afternoon.
“The canopies are up ... they just need to be painted,” he said. “We’re ready on our end. I’ve got people hired, trained. It’s just a matter of the final touches. The big thing left to go is the asphalt. Barring a lot of bad weather over the next few days, that’s going to be completed this week.”
Deliveries to the store begin this Friday, he added.
Bumgarner said Seymour’s Signal store will be unique in terms of gas options.
Five types of fuel will be available, including unleaded, ethanol-free premium, diesel, E-15 and E-85.
“Seymour will be our only location with E-85 available,” he said. “In the future, we expect the demand (for E-85) to increase.”
The new business is bringing nearly 15 new jobs to town.
“Right now, “I’ve got seven (people) employed on the Signal side and seven more on the Subway side,” Bumgarner said. “If we’re busy, which I’m hopeful that we will be, then we’ll hire more people.”
Subway will be located inside the Signal.
Currently, Scrivener Oil Company operates the Seymour’s Subway restaurant on the city’s west edge along U.S. 60, just north of the West Clinton Avenue (Business 60) intersection.
That store soon will be moved.
“I can’t provide the exact logistics of the move, but we’ll shut Subway down and try to get the store moved overnight,” Bumgarner explained. “The goal is for the Subway to be in the Signal store when we open on April 30, but I can’t assure that will happen. If there is a delay, it will be a very, very short delay.”
Additional food options will be available via a hot deli.
“We’ll have our homemade breakfast burritos, chicken strips, the pulled-pork sandwiches ... several varieties of ho-deli items,” he said.
There also will be fountain drinks and a wide variety of drink options.
Limited seating will be available for dine-in customers.
In addition, Signal will feature its signature “Beer Cave” and a full line of convenience-store items.
“This will be one of our nicest stores,” Bumgarner said.
He admitted the process to get the new Seymour Signal Food Store open for business at the intersection of U.S. 60 and highways C and K at the city’s east edge has been a lengthy one.
“There have been several difficulties in this process,” he noted. “During this same time period, we had our Nixa project, where we essentially built a new store. That store was opened a couple of weeks ago.
“Above that, the whole set of problems that are associated with COVID-19 came into play when it came to getting the products needed to refit and rebuild the store in Seymour.”
Regardless, Bumgarner said he’s excited to see the company’s 12th store open.
“I’ve driven through Seymour for the past 23 years every week and often two or three times a week,” he said. “For a long time, I felt it was an ideal location for one of our Signal stores. Then the opportunity arose to do that.
“One thing I’ve learned throughout this process is that Seymour is a great community. It’s got a strong city government and a strong school. And the town seems very excited about us coming here. As we’ve worked on the new store, I can’t count the number of people who have stopped by to just say encouraging things. I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a town so excited for our arrival.”
Scrivener Oil Company, the parent company of Signal Food Stores, was established in 1984. Today, there are 11 Signal stores in southern Missouri, including three in Springfield, two in Mansfield and single stores in Ava, Buffalo, Camdenton, Mountain View, Nixa and Ozark.
After graduating from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Scrivener started his career in the oil industry in Chicago, Ill., at Standard Oil. He experienced success with Standard Oil, then decided to head back to Springfield to establish his own company more than 3-1/2 decades ago.
During recent visits to Seymour, Scrivener has beamed when asked about his newest store.
“It’s just an ideal location with a lot of highway traffic,” he said.
“But what impresses me the most is the community. This is a growing city with a very friendly city government and a ton of potential. It’s easy to see that things are moving in the right direction in Seymour, and we’re very happy to be a part of it.”
More on the Seymour Signal Food Store’s first day will appear in next week’s newspaper.