Stubler’s Beverage new ownership has familiar face

An Oil City business that has operated here since 1878 and spans four generations of one family has been turned over to a longtime employee who says he feels like “part of the family.”

Ed Schossler has purchased the landmark Stubler’s Drive-Thru Beverage on East Second Street. Schossler, who has worked at Stubler’s for nearly 30 years, has been the face of the day-to-day operations at the drive-thru for much of that time while also taking on more responsibilities in recent years.

Schossler bought the drive-thru from Beckie Stubler, who with her husband, Bob “Spid” Stubler, represent the Stubler family’s fourth generation in the business.

The drive-thru, one of several facets of the Stubler’s operation in Venango County over these many years, was designed and opened by Bob Stubler’s father, Charles E. Stubler, in the early 1960s at the East Second Street site.

Schossler, with the help of Larry Yashinski, another longtime employee and the assistant manager at the drive-thru, plans to keep things running as smoothly as ever.

“I’m excited and looking forward to this,” Schossler said during an interview with the newspaper in an office area at the busy drive-thru. “I want the Stubler legacy to live on…they’ve treated me so well and given me a livelihood for 30 years.”

Schossler began working for Stubler’s part-time in 1993, and he became a full-time employee in 1996.

Schossler said his father, Frank, suggested he approach the Stublers for a job. One of Frank Schossler’s closest friends, John Fesenmyer, had worked at Stubler’s in the 1960s and 1970s as secretary and office manager, and Frank told Ed that Stubler’s always had a reputation as a good place to work.

Schossler, a lifelong Oil City resident and 1985 Venango Christian High School graduate, used his outgoing, friendly personality to settle comfortably into his job.

And as Bob and Beckie Stubler eventually bought a home in South Carolina and now spend much of their time down South, Schossler gradually assumed a greater role in the management of the operation.

“I’ve ran this place like my own…I respect the family so much,” Schossler said. He also referenced the family’s longstanding reputation as a community pillar and said he wants to “keep the business as respected and as giving as I can to the community.”

For his part, Bob Stubler said he couldn’t be happier that Schossler agreed to purchase the business.

“Ed is the most trustworthy person I have known,” Stubler said. “He and Larry (Yashinski) make a great team in all aspects of the business. They are both so conscientious, and Beckie and I have been blessed to have those two.”

Bob Stubler, who graduated from Venango Christian in 1974 and from St. Bonaventure University in 1978, joined the family payroll in 1980 and then bought the business from his father in 1989.

As the business continued to expand during the 1990s, including outgrowing its warehouse on Main Street in Oil City, Stubler’s purchased the assets of Marchibroda Beverage in Franklin in 1995.

Stubler’s set up shop at the Atlantic Avenue site in Franklin and maintained a warehouse and other operations there for a dozen years until selling that aspect of the business to Erie Beer in 2007.

It was also in 1995 that Stubler’s purchased the Beverage Warehouse building on Riverside Drive, and Beckie Stubler bought that license and moved it to the drive-thru.

Going way back, Peter Stubler started the business as a fine wine, liquor and cigar shop in Oil City’s North Side business district in 1878.

In 1933, at the end of prohibition, Peter C. Stubler, the second-generation owner, obtained the 14th importing distributor license issued in Pennsylvania and opened again on Oil City’s North Side.

Years later, Charles E. Stubler purchased the business from his father, Peter C. Stubler, and eventually opened the current drive-thru.

Stubler’s serves Venango, Clarion, Forest and Crawford counties, and Bob Stubler said he “can’t thank Venango County and Oil City enough for its support over the years.”

Stubler, as he reminisced fondly about his lifetime of happy memories connected with the business, both while growing up and later as employee and then owner, also said he hopes “the community will support Ed” as the operation navigates continued changes in the industry.

Bob and Beckie Stubler will remain on the payroll for five years as consultants and join Schossler and Yashinski as full-time employees. There are seven part-time workers at the business.

“They’re only a phone call away,” Schossler said of the Stublers, who he added “have taught me how to run a business and how to treat people.”

Schossler is married to the former Holly Stephens, and the couple celebrated their 25-year anniversary last month. He has always enjoyed golf and duckpin bowling and going on trips that encompass his hobbies.

And he wants “to keep everything as close to the same as possible” at Stubler’s.

“I’ve gained many friends in this job…so many people know me by my name,” he said during the interview, which was halted a couple of times by customers offering congratulations. “Many people from out of town always stop when they’re here because they like all the people and the way we do things.”

He also pledged to maintain the high standards the Stublers have always set for community spirit and giving.

“Their generosity toward the public, and to their employees, is beyond words,” Schossler said.

Bob Stubler is very proud of that support he and his family have provided in a low-key manner to many agencies, organizations and events around the area, including the upcoming Oil Heritage Festival of which the business has long been a key sponsor.

And Stubler said he is working with Trenton Moulin and Bridge Builders Community Foundations to establish a fund in perpetuity in honor of his parents, Charles E. and Eleanor T. Stubler, “that will continue our commitment to the community long after we are gone.”


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