CHESTERVILLE — Already pumping gas and serving up an expanded menu of fresh eats for the last two weeks, the revamped MacEwen gas station and County Line store here officially cut the ribbon today.
The station at the corner of Queen and Main Street North has been reborn after a seven-month, multi-million-dollar expansion project. Also new are the operators — Eyfon and Robert Ghabriel — who have taken on the place as MacEwen “retail partners” after former longtime dealer Dale Keller opted to bow out. The Ghabriels are part of a family of MacEwen station operators, with Eyfon having worked at her uncle Atif Mortos’ Barrie-area operation before landing her Chesterville opportunity. Another uncle, Mark Mortos, runs a MacEwen station in Fergus, while a cousin, Adil Mortos, does the same in Prescott.
The Ghabriels now reside just outside Morewood.
“We want our retailers to live in the community they serve,” said MacEwen Vice President of Retail Convenience Store Operations Mark Kinnin, emphasizing the Maxville-based corporation “is a family company.”
In keeping with that community connection, the company presented a $2,500 cheque to grateful members of the Chesterville & District Lions Club.
“It’s a family business, and we’ve been happy to work for them,” echoed Atif Mortos, who has been on hand in Chesterville to help his niece and her husband through the start-up.
Kinnin explained that retail partners don’t own the physical facilities — those remain the property of MacEwen’s — but do own the stock of goods inside the convenience store.
Privately held MacEwen Petroleum has 55 stations, all but four in Ontario. The others are in Quebec.
The Chesterville site is the sixth station to be remade into MacEwen’s new “prototype” style, although Kinnin added it’s more aptly described as the corporation’s new “standard” at this point. And more are underway within the MacEwen fleet. “We have a lot of development on the go right now.”
More than double the size of the old establishment in Chesterville, “this is the kind of store you need to operate in today’s environment,” he said.
As part of today’s festivities, the company has been holding draws for a Keurig coffee machine, gift cards and a dash cam.
Mayor Tony Fraser and Deputy Mayor Al Armstrong attended to cut the ribbon at 2 p.m. Fraser also presented the operators with a congratulatory township plaque.