Slushies, confectionary and coffee-to-go will soon be a staple at the Montrose gas station alongside outdoor benches for customers to perch and enjoy the view in the gateway to Beaver Valley.
Harvir Singh and three family members took ownership of the Montrose Service TEMPO April 1, and are ready to expand the station with more kid-friendly and on-the-go fare for regulars and newcomers to the well established business.
Singh and his cousins already have a growing business in Fruitvale’s Valley Petro Canada, since purchasing the gas station in 2013.
“We had good numbers last year, so this was a good time to take over the one in Montrose,” said Singh. “There’s nothing much for kids right now, like candy or chocolate, so if they want something they have to go elsewhere,” he explained. “We’ll be expanding those product lines, cleaning up the property and in a month or so, adding more hours.”
For seven years Cindy Hannigan has walked across the street to work, and said the new owners have a good plan, a great attitude and a fresh outlook has been a really “good thing.”
“We really miss the (previous owners),” she said. “But we’ve been asked to stay and it’s really been a good change.”
The small store has a very nice history, says Brenda Jagpal, a Montrose resident who with husband Nirmal Jagpal, owned the business for 18 years.
She said the site began as a coffee shop and grew into a gas station before they bought the store and added a canopy and a liquor section.
“Now I can’t wait to see what the new owners will do with it,” Brenda added. “It is a great business that needed new ideas, new mental and physical energy.”
She said the family will miss the social connection to the employees, customers and vendors, but being on call seven days a week for almost two decades became a challenge.
“We totally enjoyed working at the store but not being able to get away was the difficult part,” Jagpal explained. “At the end it felt like a ‘golden handcuff’ which was difficult to break.”
Priorities changed due to family circumstances, she said, mentioning the couple wants to spend more time with their grandchildren.
“We want to thank the community members for giving us the opportunity to serve, learn and laugh with us,” said Jagpal . “As well as lean on, during difficult times over the last 18 years.”