In 1939, Carlyle Baker opened the first Certified Gasoline Station in Piqua, Ohio. The station sold gasoline and offered limited automobile repair to the motoring public. During the next thirty-five years as the demand for gasoline stations grew so did Certified, reaching a pinnacle of more than three hundred locations throughout the Midwest.
Mr. Baker cultivated his vision of expansion through the hiring of Mr. Dean Walcutt who initially operated the second Certified gasoline station located in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Walcutt ultimately became President of Certified and served in that position with distinction for five decades, until his passing in 1995.
Mr. Baker named the company Certified because of his firm belief of providing “certifiable” quality products and a pleasant shopping experience for all customers. Long before today’s rewards programs, Certified offered its customers a free gift with the purchase of gasoline. For many years Certified customers received free items such as laundry baskets, flowers, golf balls, American flags, glassware and Easter chickens for children, setting the standards for rewarding loyal Certified customers.
The gasoline crisis of the 1970’s resulted in the closure of many gasoline stations across America and a number of competitors went out of business. Through the vision, guidance and steadiness of Mr. Baker, Certified was able to weather the storm and remain a strong and viable marketer of gasoline in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The decade of the 1980’s presented a new challenge to gasoline stations when consumer lifestyles demanded one-stop shopping for gasoline, convenience products and snack foods. Once again Certified was able to adapt, with the result becoming the present day Certified Convenience Stores.
As the founder of Certified, Mr. Baker, set forth the foundation of business practices that still serve as the pillars of principles for Certified Convenience Stores today. Assuring Certified customers receive quality products and a pleasant shopping experience, and treating both customers and employees as valued members of the Certified family.
Mr. Baker passed away in 1998 but his legacy lives on through his family. Mr. Baker’s son-in-law, Peter Lacaillade, took over the company’s helm in 1998 and continues today serving as President/CEO. In 2013, Nicholas Lacaillade, a third generation family member, joined Certified as VP of Retail and Corporate Development.
Focusing on the company’s core competencies and infusing significant capital provides today’s Certified customers with modern retail facilities, innovative products and great customer service. Using today’s technology, our Certified Rewards Program is designed to thank our valuable customers the way Mr. Baker did in the past.
Stop in and grab a cup of our great coffee, Carlyle’s Cup, a premium brew in honor of the man who made Certified a household name in Columbus, Ohio and throughout the Midwest.