Steamburg, NY 14783
About Turtle Pit Cafe, Smoke Shop, Gas & Laundromat
Seneca Nation of Indians resident Mary Jane Block got started in business working as a native food vendor back in 1993. She travelled around to various powwows, serving food out of her booth called The Turtle Pit. After working as a food vendor for a while, she decided to move in a new direction. As such, The Turtle Pit took on a more permanent form when Mary Jane opened a store in Steamburg, NY and named it after her food-vending booth.
Mary Jane continued food vending for some years after opening her store. She worked extensive hours every week, taking care of the store throughout the week and running her booth on weekends. Mary Jane said the other people who worked the powwows became her “extended family” because they would see her a lot and offered their assistance anytime she needed it.
She reluctantly gave up running her food-vending booth because the constant strain became too much for her to handle. “I’d still be doing it if I could!” Mary Jane said.
Despite giving up one of her passions, Mary Jane and her crew have experienced a lot of success with the store. That success has a lot to do with their great customer service. According to Mary Jane, when they hire on workers they train them to do everything involved in running the business instead of just a specific position.
“Everyone chips in and helps each other to get the work done. All of the employees have to be able to go and talk to the customers and make them feel welcome. When I go into a business, I don’t want to be ignored. At least, as long as they come over and say, ‘Hi, how are you? If you need any help, just let us know.’ I like acknowledgement, because then it matters.”
Many of their employees have helped nurture their high-quality customer service, including Melissa Long. She has helped run things ever since Mary Jane hired her on as the General Manager a couple years ago. Jenna Bristol has also proved extremely valuable in her year with the company, getting herself promoted to Office Manager in her relatively short time with the company. Kathy Clark also quickly proved her worth as she started out as a regular employee and received the promotion to Shift Manager in less than a year’s time.
Some of the other employees have worked for Mary Jane a little longer and have proven themselves invaluable to the company as well. Both Sue English and Lindsey Hyde have attained impressive stretches of longevity. Sue has worked as a store clerk for Mary Jane for about three-and-a-half years, and Lindsey has experienced the longest run of any of the managers. She has worked for the company for about 6 years and attained a Shift Manager position.
Their continued success enabled them to expand their store into its current location in May of 2012. The new building, located right next to their former site, offers way more room to accommodate their wide variety of items, which include camping and fishing supplies, groceries, snacks, tobacco and accessories, gasoline, car care products and so much more. They also offer a full-line of native-brand cigarettes along with a roll-you-own product line-up as.
They added a Laundromat onto the side of their new building as well to serve their customers even better. They used to supply a much more limited menu in their previous store, which included subs, burgers and hot dogs. Their new site has enabled them to offer more in-store seating and serve an expanded menu, which now also includes breakfast sandwiches, pizza and soup during the fall and winter. They also offer breakfast specials that include a coffee along with the sandwiches.
Make sure you check out the Google map and directions at the top of the site so you can experience all that The Turtle Pit Café, Smoke Shop, Gas Station & Laundromat has in-store.
Gasoline - Diesel - Laundromat - Auto Supplies
Camping and Fishing Supplies - Newspapers
Full Deli with Meats, Cheeses and Subs
Candy - Novelty Candy - Novelties - Ice
Webkinz - Amazing World - Nakamas
Health & Beauty Supplies - Medicine
Milk - Bread - Eggs - Potato Chips
Pepsi - Red Bull - Frito-Lay
Tobacco Products and Accessories
Full Line of Native Brand Cigarettes
Cigarette Machines - Loose Tobacco – Tubes
Cigars - Cigarettes - Pipes - Chewing Tobacco
Hookah and Roll-Your-Own Tobacco Products
Is this your business?
Promote your business through our innovative Marketplace system! It's free to sign up!