While a convenience store has sat at the corner of North Jefferson Street and Log Cabin Road for years, it took a personal connection to the place to get it to where it is today.
Owner Tommy Lowndes grew up coming to Milledgeville on fishing trips as a small boy. While staying at his family’s nearby fishing lodge, he often came to this store for supplies. When he and his wife Rosie decided to remodel the fishing lodge and make it their permanent home a few years ago, an idea was born.
Tommy and Rosie saw the vacant property and knew they wanted to resurrect it.
Another inspiration for the Lowndeses’ decision to purchase the property was close to home. With the birth of their grandson, they noticed their son-in-law, Justin Burch, working long hours in his job as a restaurant general manager. The nights and weekends required for this work left little time for fatherhood.
“They [Tommy and Rosie] noticed I wasn’t getting to spend as much time with my little boy as we all would have liked. I was missing a lot of family things on the weekends,” said Burch.
The Lowndeses bought the property at 2119 N. Jefferson St., remodeled it and made Burch the operations manager, allowing him to run all day-to-day operations of the business and still have time to spend with his family.
The Log Cabin opened its doors to the public on Sept. 29, 2018. Now approaching their first anniversary in business, the owners and operators pride themselves on offering a quality convenience store with affordable gas prices.
In addition to offering standard convenience store items like snacks and beverages, the family worked together to find ways to set their business apart from the pack. This includes offering products that are not available at all standard convenience stores. One popular corner of the store features a wine cooler with chilled white wines and red wines. Next to that is a cheese case offering meats and cheese products to pair with the wines. A unique and popular offering is the Wisconsin cheese curds.
“We knew it was something that wasn’t very well covered in this area,” said Burch. “It allowed us to find a little niche that nobody else had.”
Also popular for fishing enthusiasts is the bait and tackle section of the store. The Log Cabin’s proximity to Lake Sinclair, the Oconee River, the Club at Lake Sinclair and the Country Club neighborhood often drive decisions for the services the family offers in the store.
Morning commuters who need a little extra caffeine can take advantage of the selection of Community Coffee available in the store. The Log Cabin offers a breakfast blend, a signature blend and a seasonal blend of the New Orleans-based coffee to its customers.
Another popular item with guests is the Johnsonville hot dog products that are kept hot for a quick meal or snack on the go.
“We’ve been told we’ve got the best hot dog in town,” said Burch.
With its location at the four-way stop of two busy roads, The Log Cabin’s staff knows the importance of gas sales to the success of their business.
“We’ve had to stay competitive with our gas pricing,” said Burch.
Gas prices of nearby competitors are taken into consideration when making sure The Log Cabin is meeting the needs of its customers. Another way to save money is by enrolling in the Marathon Rewards program. By downloading this app to their smartphone, the customer can save an additional five cents per gallon on gas at The Log Cabin. Even better, Marathon Rewards perks work at all Marathon gas stations.
When setting up their business model, the Lowndes family did plenty of research into the needs and wants of the local residents. The family and community-friendly environment is what drives the owners and operators of The Log Cabin.
Added Burch, “We like to get guest feedback, and we act on guest feedback.”