- Home-schooling in a truck means the country is a classroom
- This driver sees the world through Google Glass
- A career trucker brings his tales of the road to people in hospice
- How driver Paul Sedlak finds motivation to reach his fitness goals
- I Love Trucking: More than a job, driving is a way of life
- Big Rig Books: Driver delivers books to underprivileged kids
- Driver Chris Jackson captures moments of beauty on the road
- Trucking Couple: Why June & David got hitched
- Owner-operator Fritz Elmhorst puts his competitiveness to good use
- Driver David Boyer: Sharing the road responsibly
Nestled outside of Youngstown, the Girard, Ohio Petro gives drivers a taste of the sweet life.
Homemade fudge and chocolate candies are made weekly at the Iron Skillet restaurant. Drivers can choose from 20 different fudges and more than 30 different chocolate candies. Some guests even come in regularly to stock up on the delectable treats.
“One of our locals comes in and buys a pound of peanut butter fudge every week,” says Marco Mediati, kitchen manager. “It’s something different. We make our own cream and butter fudge from scratch — and I really like the chocolate candy.”
Before getting to the sweet stuff, drivers can dig into homemade soups, including favorites pepper pot and chicken noodle, in the newly renovated Iron Skillet Restaurant. Guests are remarking on the new tables, lighting and the spruced-up décor that features sports teams and country scenery alongside the all-you-can-eat buffet. The home-cooked food is always made from scratch and the kitchen makes a fantastic chicken-fried steak.
New flat screen TVs in the theater and the TV room are getting great reviews. New movies running in the theater offer a real cinema experience, and the TV room is a popular gathering spot.
“The rooms are real crowd pleasers because drivers can choose whether they want to catch up on sports or watch a movie,” says Lyndsay Morgan, store general manager. “Everyone has been here a long time and we love our customers and like to hear that they enjoy their stay and can relax.”
If drivers want to get up and play, there’s a pool table in the arcade. If they’re lucky, they may even find an occasional round of Cornhole, a beanbag game that is a Girard favorite.
Taking care of business
Everything drivers need is in one spot. Hair looking a bit shaggy? Visit the onsite barber. Can’t get a handle on how to fix your CB? The Broker’s Building offers CB services and installation. DOT physical due? A doctor is on the premises to take care of that, too.
Most employees have been at the Girard Petro for many years and chances are, drivers will see familiar faces even if it’s been a while since their last visit.
“We automatically know their names, and they know ours, says Chris Wasylychyn, truck service center bookkeeper. Some drivers come in and say, ‘You’re still here?’ when they haven’t been by in a couple of years because their route was changed or something.”
Simply the best
Some drivers have been coming here for 20 years, so Girard employees think of themselves as a second family. They make the extra effort to keep the center accessible in all conditions. If there’s snow, plows clear the parking lot right away. All areas are well-lit to ensure safety.
“I’ve been told that we’re the Cadillac of truckstops,” says Mediati. “This is a place for drivers to stop and relax, tell stories and talk to other drivers. It’s a nice environment.”