Vassers new owner keeps store in the family

Published 6:56 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

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Chase Shipman is the new owner at Vassers. Shipman, 25, bought the business from his mother, Missy Calvert, on June 16.

Cougar Oil General Manager Rex Jones is already seeing a new vibe in the gas station with Shipman running the popular gas station.

“The cool thing on our side is there is already so much new energy,” Jones said. “Chase just took over and he is from Selma. He grew up here. That gives us a local guy running this place.”

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Shipman grew up around the gas and oil business thanks to his dad and his mom. His dad, Jamie Calvert, did a lot to bring him up and show him the ropes and now take over and run the business.

“My parents have done this for the last 19 years,” Shipman said. “ My father passed away several years ago and I was working for the railroad. My mom wanted me to come in and learn the business because eventually he one day wanted to hand the business off to me. I started learning everything I could. I figured if I started learning at a young age and it took off like I was hoping then I could turn it into something good and possibly expand it. She was ready to sit back a little bit and sit watch. She will still help out a little bit but I decided it was now or never.”

Shipman at a young age knows that he is fortunate to own Vassers and very honored to have the responsibility.

“I’m very fortunate,” Shipman said. “It’s about the only place where you can get a meat and two or a meat and three sides here in Selma. It’s the best. It’s in a great location.”

Vassers was damaged from the tornado that ravaged Selma on January 12. With the damage, Vassers lost its awning. Now with Shipman at the helm alongside Jones. He said a new plan is in the works to spruce up the gas station.

“We had all the tornado damage so we have been waiting for our vendors to replace our canopy,” Jones said.

“All my stuff has come in for doing my new canopy and there is a new marathon image with that. My vendor is just waiting to put all of that up. We are going to have new canopies new price signs and then next door we had a house we tore that down. We owned that lot. We are going to put another canopy and more pumps on the other side where the house was.”

The goal is to have additional parking and better entrance for boaters and other drivers off of Chisolm Drive and have a park table for people to enjoy some lunch outside.

Jones said he wants to have four new pumps on the other side of Vassers as well with all the fuel needs.

“I’m going to put new tanks in,” Jones said. “The plan is right now to have all the products on each pump. You would have all your ethanols. Your regular, mid and premiums. Then I would have a non-ethanol hose and a diesel hose as well.”

Jones said as of right now there is no timetable as to when this project will be finished.

But he still wants people to come out to Vassers and experience the new energy.

Shipman wants to run the business just like his mom and dad did when they were running it.

“We try to keep like family,” Shipman said.

“We treat everybody like they are our own. We treat everybody with respect. Whatever they need we will make it happen. Whether we have it on the menu or not. If they really want it and we can make it happen we will do it.”