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The North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce embraces the true meaning of Southern Hospitality and promotes unity among all businesses. Together we can and will make a positive difference in North Baldwin County and the City of Bay Minette.

Tripp Ward, Alabama Power

My father was a local business leader and an active Chamber member, and I am proud and honored to follow in his footsteps. I am proud of my community and my Chamber. I hope to contribute to the long-term success of the North Baldwin Chamber, assisting businesses as they enrich the community that supports them.

Martha Ryan, The First Bank

Our local Chamber of Commerce is a group of dedicated citizens that work together and give of their time, money and experience to help build a better community for us all and to help promote our local businesses. It is an honor to be involved and have the opportunity to give back in a small way to our wonderful community.

Larry F. Taylor, Gulf Packaging

Everyone involved in our chamber truly wants success for all members. The opportunity to participate in local events as either a sponsor or volunteer has given our business invaluable exposure and allowed me to connect personally with our amazing North Baldwin community.

Charlotte England, United Bank

The North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce is a vital part of our community. The Chamber provides an array of events and services that enhance the quality of life for all generations.

Barbara Brown, Light of the City

Being a member of the Chamber provides an avenue to communicate with business owners and leaders in the community. The Chamber is working for me by staying member and community focused. They understand that a healthy community environment encourages businesses to do their best in the area and invest back into the community. I’m proud of how our Chamber is working for its stakeholders and the direction they are moving in.

Brian Seals, Baldwin EMC

The North Baldwin Chamber has promoted my organization as if it is their own. The staff is great and always will help in any way they can to answer questions and provide a helping hand.

Vinson Bradley, Coastal Alabama Community College

The North Baldwin Chamber is a vital asset for my business to be a part of and support. The economic strength and stability that is present in the North Baldwin community is a reflection of the Chamber’s growing efforts and partnerships. My company has shared in the rewards.

Shane Hadley, Baldwin Gulf Coast Pest Control



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American Pride Petroleum

1605 Hand Avenue, Bay Minette, AL 36507

With dreams of owning his own business and getting out of the steel Mill industry, Rob Karcs set out on a hunt around Baldwin County for something new… Something different. In the process of figuring out what he wanted to get into, Rob’s parents saw an opportunity in a little, old gas station on Hand Avenue in Bay Minette. After years of sitting vacant and countless turned down offers, “Mrs. Smiley” finally found the right buyers and agreed to sell the station to the Karcz family. Unbeknownst to the deal that had been made, Rob showed up to check out the property and was met with a set of keys and a surprise from his parents saying, “Here you go… it’s yours.” Rob would soon work together with his parents, and husband Mikey, to breathe life back into the old Smiley’s Gas Station.

American Pride Petroleum opened their doors in 2017 with a goal to make everyone feel welcome. “ Even with challenges, raising fuel prices, and having to learn how to own and manage a business from the ground up, we’ve kept the doors open and we’re proud of that. We’ve grown to appreciate everyone’s support so much and want to do anything we can to give back” says Rob. From helping support the chamber, both VFW and American Legion, planning and hosting a ‘Back to School Bash’ event, and finding creative ways to fundraise for different causes… Mikey and Rob are very much involved in the North Baldwin community and its residents.

The station is unique, as it is one of the only local, veteran owned and operated service stations in our area. They currently have two hard working employees aside from Mikey, Rob, and his parents. They offer non-ethanol fuel, flexible employee schedules, a place for local food trucks to park and serve occasionally, fully stocked shelves and big plans for the future. Outside, you’ll find plants and a raised bed garden, tended by Rob’s mom, Mikey’s quirky skeletons out front that are dressed up seasonally and inside the station, fully renovated and beautiful, local photos, and patriotic décor. Currently these entrepreneurs are working on renovating the space connected to the station to serve pizza and eventually open a pizza kitchen and bar with outdoor seating… and they’ll soon have brand new gas pumps!

When asked what the most fun part of owning the business is… Rob says, “We have time and flexibility to get out and volunteer and really be a part of the community.” Both serve on local boards and committees, help with non-profit organizations, and often sponsor or lend a helping hand at most local events.

American Pride has quickly become a staple in the North Baldwin community, and we just know the Smiley’s family would be very proud. Rob and Mikey have built more than just a business… They’ve built a family and a safe space for both locals and travelers to grab a snack, get gas and feel a sense of community pride each time they visit. From years in the military to a big jump from Illinois to Alabama, to leaving his career in the steel industry, Rob never thought he’d land in Bay Minette and own a local service station with his husband and family… but we’re sure glad they are a part of our community now!

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