Christine Coombes (left) and Margaret-Ann Baziw are co-managers of the family-owned gas station in Warfield. The station store will still be open but the gas pumps will be closed for three weeks while changing over to Petro-Canada. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Warfield gas station switching to Petro-Can

“As long as everything goes well, we will open (for gas) Nov. 9,” says Christine Coombes.

The Warfield gas station is saying good-bye to Fas Gas and hello to Petro-Canada in the next three weeks.

But that’s all that will change.

The business will still be independently owned and operated by a local family after the sizeable renovation is completed by a local construction firm. And it will remain a full service gas station when fuel sales start up again, tentatively Nov. 9.

“When we finally got out of our contract with Fas Gas, we looked at everybody,” says manager Christine Coombes. “Our number one priority is customer service, so we wanted to make sure that whoever we switched to, would have some kind of program for our customers, like Petro Points. And Petro Points is a good program.”

Gas will not be available at the Warfield pumps starting Monday, Oct. 15.

But the store itself will remain open – including the popular takeaway menu – while the job is underway. Propane will also be dispensed during the work, which includes adding 12 feet of space and re-configuring the pumps to improve traffic flow.

“The store is still open, we just can’t pump gas,” Christine said. “We are changing the front-end so it’s going to be more user-friendly outside. Before, people would drive by because there was a line, so we are going to be alleviating that with what we are doing.”

Her parents, William and Margaret Herd, bought the Warfield gas station in 1989.

Mom and dad are mostly retired now, leaving Christine and her sister Margaret-Ann Baziw in charge of running the place. Both have the early morning shift, arriving around 4 a.m. to prep food and cook for the early morning and lunch crowd.

They are both travelling to Port Moody to attend “Petro-Can” school during the first week of renovations, but after that, the sisters will be back behind the counter.

They are very proud of the business the family has worked so hard to build over 30 years.

“Everything here is ours,” said Margaret-Ann. “(Petro-Canada) won’t own anything here except the signage. We are family-owned and still independent. Now, we are just being supplied with a Petro-Can product.”

Being family-owned and not corporate-owned makes a big difference when running a gas station, Christine shared.

“We grew up here and remained here to help our parents with the family business,” she said. “Every other station in Trail is owned by the oil companies and managed by a third party which makes them less likely to care like we do. Our customers mean everything to us and we strive to make customer service our first priority.”

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