Tim Freeman has sold the Roseburg gas station he purchased with his father 26 years ago to a Klamath Falls-based company called SOS Family LLC, which also owns a Mobil station in Canyonville.

Tim Freeman and his father, Butch Freeman, purchased the Garden Valley Shell station together in 1991 from Tom Graham. The Freemans owned the business, but not the land, and operated as commission dealers, meaning Shell owned the gas, and they earned a commission based on the number of gallons they sold.

About seven years later, Butch Freeman retired, and Tim Freeman bought out his dad and purchased the land on which the station sits, at 792 NW Garden Valley Blvd. in Roseburg. He switched from being a commission dealer to purchasing, owning and selling the gas.

Tim Freeman said the business was good for him and his family. He said he was able to put his brothers and his children through college, and provide work for hundreds of young men and women, some of them at their first jobs and others getting a second chance after having problems in their lives.

“It’s been a good thing, and it’s been profitable. I’ve made a fair living there,” he said.

At times, the business was tough. While Shell was a great company to work with at first, Freeman said, things got more difficult after Shell merged with Texaco, and put up a Shell station across the freeway that directly competed against him for about three years, selling gas cheaper at retail price than he could buy it wholesale. That station closed down eventually because it wasn’t profitable, Freeman said.

The next hurdle was when Shell partnered with Fred Meyer to run a station right next to his that also sold gas cheaper than he could buy it.

The gas prices at Freeman’s station were frequently about a dollar higher than those at the station next door. He said that’s because he adapted by shifting the focus of his business away from fuel sales.

“We made a business decision to sell very little gas and make money in other ways,” he said.

He rented U-Hauls and, being a mechanic by trade, worked on vehicle maintenance. A taco business also opened at the station.

“They’re the best food in town. I was skinny when they moved in,” he joked.

Freeman said he never had contracts with any governmental organization for his fuel. He did for awhile have a contract with the federal General Services Administration, to provide vehicle maintenance for federal agencies.

He said the secret to success has been that he’s a hard worker.

“If I had to get up in the middle of the night and go change a flat tire on a U-Haul truck or rescue somebody that had tried to turn around with a truck and got stuck in a ditch, I did,” he said.

During his years running the station, Freeman also served in elected office, as a Roseburg city councilor, then as a state legislator, and now as a Douglas County commissioner.

He said he had a business plan to sell the station when he was 55. He said he’s a couple of years ahead of schedule, since he turns 53 in January. He didn’t say how much he sold the station for, but said he received the price he wanted.

According to Douglas County Assessor’s Department records, SOS bought the real property for $699,000 on July 26. Freeman said SOS also bought the business and hired all his employees.

SOS is a Klamath Falls company owned by David Staub, and connected with Ed Staub and Sons. Ed Staub and Sons was founded in Alturas, California, and sells fuel in California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Washington. The News-Review was unable to reach Dave Staub on Thursday to ask about the company’s plans for the station.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(5) comments

bbgurrl

someone may want to transfer the title.. http://egov.sos.state.or.us/br/pkg_web_name_srch_inq.show_detl?p_be_rsn=464491&p_srce=BR_INQ&p_print=FALSE

Mogie

You are correct it appears the title in still in Freeman's name. I would think the new owner would have it in their name. Legally even with autos you only have a certain amount of time to transfer the title.

Creeksend

"“Stop Extreme Environmentalists. Vote NO! On New Charter” reads a sign outside the Shell station on Garden Valley Boulevard owned by Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman.

The sign takes aim at a proposed Home Rule Charter that will be on the ballot in November, and supporters of that charter aren’t happy about its message, which they call misleading. The charter would eliminate salaries for the commissioners, including Freeman, and replace the three full-time commissioners with five part-time commissioners each representing one of five districts.

'Extreme Environmentalists' sign outside commissioner's gas station creates controversy
CARISA CEGAVSKE Senior Staff Writer The News-Review Sep 15, 2017
Freeman said he put up the sign because the political action committee opposing Home Rule asked him to. "
Don't ya think that was a great time to say that he does NOT own the station? Being as it was sold 2 months earlier?
Can anybody trust this guy?

OregonHusker

That explains why that stupid sign is gone.

Mogie

Interesting that he sold the business now. Makes a person wonder if there could be a little more to this.

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