Handy Stop Expansion
Ray Robinson of Tex-Con Oil Company can spot opportunities. “There is an expectation that for every dollar of gas sales, the store can expect a proportional amount of profitable indoor sales from soft drinks, beer and food,” said Robinson, who is celebrating his 50th year in the gas station business. The potential for Handy Stop is mind boggling, says Robinson, because the store already has great walk-up traffic. “We have at least three customers in the store at all times”, said Zubair “Zeke” Habib, store owner, “so to sell more gas means even higher indoor sales.”
The challenge, according to Mr. Robinson, was finding enough room at Handy Stop to add gas pumps. Located on a lot on East Morris with little depth, the store’s two pumps are oddly placed at the corner of Morris and Edgar. The current plan is to remove those pumps and use that area for parking. At the opposite (west) end of the lot four new pumps and canopy will be installed. “Refueling trucks will no longer idle in the street, and gas customers will be able to freely enter and exit,” said Zeke.
The neighbors like the idea, too. To Shirley Sommer, owner of the Handy Stop Nursery across the street, the plan fixes a decades-old issue. “So many times there have been accidents or near misses. I’m so glad the pumps will be relocated. I think it will be much safer for drivers and walkers alike.”
Construction will begin in July and be complete by the end of summer. The store will be rebranded from Exxon to Valero.