Dari Mart employs more than 400 people in 45 stores throughout Lane, Linn and Benton counties. It also supports local companies while donating to countless community organizations every year — including ShelterCare.
Last month, the company helped ShelterCare raise money by hosting our blue "house banks" in their stores throughout Springfield and Eugene. They collected $4,992.31 to support our "I ShelterCare about Homelessness" campaign. Considering Dari Mart's history of community investment, this isn't surprising.
"We are very active in our community. Most of what we do is unknown to the community at-large but is important to our family," said Kathy Gibson, vice president of operations, marketing and public relations for Dari Mart. "My grandparents were actively involved, which taught their children the importance (of involvement). We have to be here for our community and give back. We are fortunate to have the opportunities that we have and it is our responsibility to give back."
Her grandparents, Howard and Gladys Gibson, first started what would become Dari Mart in 1941 when they purchased 120 acres four miles north of Junction City. They worked the land and raised livestock, and soon, they had a dairy farm with 100 cows and five young children. Eventually, products produced on the farm would become the backbone of the business.
"We are a family owned, vertically integrated company with a farm, dairy, processing plant and 45 convenience stores," Kathy said. "We sell a wide range of conventional convenience store fare as well as healthy choice items that are made in our own central kitchen. We also have our own milk and ice cream that is from farm-to-table in 48 hours."
Kathy said she supports the mission of ShelterCare very much.
"I support ShelterCare's long-term solution approach versus the bandage short-term approach," she said. "Both are important and serve a purpose, but I think we need more preventative methods to help fight homelessness."