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Posted on: December 9, 2021
About Mullenix MarketJeff Stokes started the Mullenix Market project after assembling several pieces of property in the 80s. Jeff wanted to honor his father, a Vietnam War Veteran, and his tireless work ethic, with a belief that the recipe for success always was in their customers’ happiness. Jeff got involved in the family auction business, Stokes Auction and Auction Acres, in 1976 and since then has won many worldwide awards such as the 1987 World Champion livestock auctioneer, 1993 World Champion Auto Auctioneer, and 2003 International Champion Auctioneer. Jeff is the first and only person to win the triple crown of auctioneering, and Jeff was also selected for the 2006 Auction Hall of Fame. Jeff has been an instructor at the western College of Auctioneering since he was 19 and still teaches the art of auctioneering in Montana throughout the year. The Stokes family has lived and breathed South Kitsap County for four decades, and Jeff’s father served as Port Commissioner for 20 years. The roots the Stokes family have in the area are deepened throughout the community by giving back with charity auctions. Jeff founded the largest charity auction business with Stokes Auction Group in 1992, and has raised millions from 700 charity auctions prior to COVID. Jeff has served many wonderful causes, but when asked his favorite, “It would definitely be Celebrity fight night in Phoenix that was hosted by Muhamad Ali, and working alongside emcee Reba McEntire. Jeff also has done auctions for Andrea Bocelli in Florence, Italy and the Ted Turner family in Atlanta. But, it is always helping a child in need that brings the most satisfaction, whether it’s through Make-A-Wish, JDRF or any child related cause. Jeff started the zoning process for Mullenix Market in 2009. He then started the permitting process in 2013 with some challenges due to road construction. Permits were approved in 2017, and he had to buy another acre of land next to his property for stormwater. In 2018 he broke ground on Mullenix Market. Financing came through after the Covid shutdown in May 2020, then it was game on with construction. Construction hit snags with supplies and building but forged ahead and was completed in September 2021. He opened his dream store, Mullenix Market, on September 9th, 2021. Mullenix Market & Harbor Wholesale Jeff is a businessman but has no experience in owning or operating a gas station, and that’s where Harbor came into play. The goal was to have the store be a deli with gas. One of the best benefits was being able to do a 180 degree pivot with Patty, Harbor’s LDC-Central Regional Sales Manager, as Covid was shutting down everything. Harbor, and Patty, have given Jeff confidence, taking him by the hand and showing him other stores, where store owners assisted with hands on experience and advice for operating a convenience store. Jeff was offered tours of other stores, cooking opportunities and examples aplenty of other successful stores. He was able to take these ideas & advice and implement it at Mullenix Market. Through this journey Mullenix Market had 3 visions for what the store could be. The Mullenix Market team is so thankful to have partnered with Harbor to have help through all it. Those ideas were: Deli and gasFoodservice only through the drive throughToday, a hybrid model of both One of the biggest surprises was the community and how they have supported this new location. With each new guest comes a local neighbor coming by to say how delighted they are to have the new store there. Many customers have watched and waited with anticipation, and all came to our aid to support Mullenix Market with their kindness, patronage and spirit of community. When Jeff is asked “What is the single best attribute of your early success”? It would be easy to thank Sun Pacific energy, Harbor Wholesale, his contractors, his food or beverage providers but it is actually people and their big hearts within these organizations. One doesn’t take on a build like this without friends, partners and trusted people. Patty displayed patience, compassion and true care towards the changing journey. She was there for every phone call, every change and by Jeff’s side the day they opened, and still part of his days now that they are 30 days in. Fritz, Harbor’sFoodservice Sales Developer, has helped design Mullenix’ Market’s foodservice program. Esther, Harbor’s Store Solution Manager, has helped set their store. Ronnie, Harbor’s Territory Sales Manager, has helped every day with products, designs and more. Jeff is most grateful for the quality people that have all come to his aid in the development of Mullenix Market. He must also recognize the help of teammates, Brenda Ryon and Sherry Jones, as their years of convenience store business experience set the store up for success. Every bit of their success stems from people like Jeff’s father, his friends, neighbors and the professionals at Harbor. Thank you Mullenix Market for being a great partner and going above and beyond to serve your community!
Posted on: November 16, 2021
Tell us about your store. Nez Perce Express is located in Idaho on the Nez Perce Reservation next to the Clearwater River, the Steelhead fishing capitol of the world. The Nez Perce Express also provides the fishing permits to fish the Clearwater River we have Steelhead, Chinook Salmon and tunnel pond permits. How has Harbor helped you to be successful? Harbor has helped us to be successful by the support of providing great products, on time delivery service and store resets to help keep great store flow for our customers. Harbor has been a great partner as we continue to grow together in our success. What unique programs do you have at your location? Harbor helped us to get the Skippers program going which in turn considerably increased our deli sales. We also started the Harbor Watertown coffee program where we have a great following as well with this select brand of coffee. How has your store been successful through COVID-19? The Nez Perce Express store has maintained our customer base by providing a safe and sanitary store for our patrons.
Posted on: June 15, 2021
Since 1923, Harbor has been a family-owned business supporting the family-owned businesses in our local communities. In celebration of Father's Day, we reached out to our customer Tek & Sundeep Sandhu, father-and-son owners of S&S Marts along the Oregon coast. Much like Harbor, their business is multi-generational and locally operated. Tell us about your stores (history, location, etc.) and how you support your community. Sundeep: My father, Tek Sandhu, was an immigrant from Punjab, India. He left home in his early twenties with a goal to build a better life for his family and achieve the American dream. Upon arrival, he worked in the farming industry. As he was able to gain experience, he landed a job at Winchell’s Donut House. Through hard work and determination, he was able to go from Baker, to Assistant Manager, to Manager, and eventually District Manager. In 1998, my parents bought their first store, Day N’ Night Market, in Vancouver, WA. From there, they bought more stores throughout Vancouver, and eventually on the coast in cities such as Seaside, Astoria, and Long Beach. One of the main reasons for the success of our stores is that we like to give back to the community as much as possible. Whether that’s giving donations to local schools, or sponsoring an event, we always value building up the area where we do business. Another way we give back is through renovating our locations. New flooring, cabinets, coolers, shelving, and overall design help give the community a revived and clean look. Tell us about the family-aspect of your business. History, family members etc. How has being family-owned benefited your business? Sundeep: We have always been a family-oriented business. The mindset of family first and business second has helped us keep our priorities in check. We are a large family, but very connected. My father and I oversee the general operations of all the coastal stores, while my cousins, Govrdan and Davinder, are in charge of day to day operations. My mother helps run a few of the stores locally. The fact that we are a family-owned business has helped shape our business because it helps us view our employees as part of our family, who then show that same respect towards the customers. How has your partnership with Harbor helped you to be successful? Sundeep: Harbor has the same priorities that we have, supporting our local communities. Just like we treat our employees and customers as family, Harbor shows that same love to us. Harbor is there to support us when we are working on a new project, like a remodel. The responsiveness and connectivity that we experience from Harbor helps when we are expanding and improving our business. We have had an excellent experience with Harbor and are excited for the future.
Posted on: June 9, 2021
ABOUT SUN PACIFIC ENERGYSpanning four generations, the Eerkes Family has provided quality fuel products and exemplary service to all their customers. Beginning in Yakima, Washington after WWI with a Richfield service station, they invested in their community of Tri-Cities, Washington by providing heating oil and lubricants, which was just the beginnings of Sun Pacific Energy. Convenience stores were the added in the 1980’s as well as acquisitions in Yakima and the Seattle area all to better serve their customers and communities. Sun Pacific currently operates 8 Sun Market stores, 4 Firehouse Sub restaurants and Golf Universe. They are expanding their footprint in Washington state with 4 more new locations over the next 2 years to include 3 more Sun Market stores and another Firehouse restaurant. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENTSun Pacific Energy is committed to support the communities in which they conduct business. Each year the “Eerkes Memorial Golf Classic for Kid” is hosted by the Eerkes family and sponsored by Sun Pacific Energy. This annual event brings together the community and provides annual financial operating support for both organizations.Sun Pacific Proudly Supports:•Eerkes Memorial Golf Classic for Kids•Boys & Girls Clubs of America•YoungLife ASSOCIATIONSSun Pacific Energy personnel take an active interest and leadership positions in associations which directly impact the fuel and convenience store industries. Annual visits to Washington D.C. to interact with legislators continues to be an important component to monitor industry regulations.Staying ahead of current legislation and best business practices give Sun Pacific the edge in ensuring the best possible outcomes for both company-op and dealer sites. SUN MARKETS & HARBOR WHOLESALESun Markets has been a Harbor Wholesale Customer for 8 years. The Sun Pacific Energy team continually strives to maintain an excellent reputation in the communities they serve. They are founded upon three simple principles:•Friendliness: Working together as an efficient team to provide a consistently friendly and positive atmosphere for their customers and employees.•Cleanliness: Maintaining a safe and clean environment that provides quality products that are well merchandised at fair prices.•Honesty: Striving to be recognized as a leader because of their loyalty and integrity toward each other, their customers, their communities, and thir company. Sun Markets are your convenient on the go stop. If you are looking for a quick market to pick up your morning hot cup of coffee or some fresh food for a quick break, Sun Market is your place to stop. They offer fast and friendly service to make your pit stop as enjoyable as possible. Harbor has been instrumental in setting up new locations or revamping existing locations. With Harbor’s expertise in merchandising and schematics they are confident that they are providing their customers the best experience with the best product offerings. Harbor has consistently helped them enhance their coffee and fresh food programs with innovative ideas and with new products to keep them relevant to customer buying habits. Harbor has been a great partner that truly invests the time and resources to create the professional look and feel of their Sun Market stores. Sun Markets enjoys working with another family run business that values their customers and keeps their commitments. Sun Pacific Energy was fortunate to keep all of our locations open throughout the pandemic. Every employee kept their job and they pulled together as a team to help each other and their community during this time. Sun Pacific donated over 4,000 meals to local schools with children in need. At the same time, Sun Pacific donated over 1,000 meals to First Responders and healthcare providers.
Posted on: November 17, 2020
With the closure of restaurants, more demand put back on grocery and limited occupancy restrictions in supermarkets, our retail customer base will see increased traffic. Consumers will look for quick, safe, and easy locations to access essential items. Sun MarketKennewick, WashingtonSun Market has multiple locations in the Kennewick, Washington area. With Harbor, they focus on community foods and school lunches. During the COVID-19 crisis, they provided over 4,000 school lunches and at least 500+ meals to first responders and local hospitals. Amber, the manager at Sun Market, also made and donated masks to their community, including the one worn by our Lead Store Solutions Rep, Dana Rabe. Fat Alberts & Lillie Family MarketSouthern OregonShari Lillie from Fat Alberts & Lillie Family Market made face masks for their local medical facilities, first responders, and their customers. She made over 600 masks to donate. Stop And Go Mini MartBend, OregonStop & Go Mini Mart is all about the essentials. When COVID-19 hit, theyimplemented delivery services within a 3-mile radius with Vroom and offered curbside pickup. They started a social media campaign around their delivery services saying, “We deliver. You relax!”. When toilet paper shortages hit, they offered a roll of toilet paper with every fill-up. Stop and Go Mini Mart has done a great job utilizing social media to show their customers how they are supporting them through COVID-19! The Convenience GroupVancouver, WashingtonThe Convenience Group hired extra team members to increase service to their community during COVID-19. They also adjusted their store selection to offer affordable items to serve all budgets. They were one of the first locations to implement plexiglass partitions at their store. The Convenience Group began offering free PPE to those in need, helping to keep their community safe and healthy. In addition, The Convenience Group’s owner, Don Rhoads, increased donations to local food banks, as well as homeless food and clothing programs. Bellis Fair ShellBellingham, WashingtonAt the onset of COVID, Bellis Fair Shell gave away $25 in free gas to first responder staff at St. Joseph Hospital located in Bellingham, Washington. Roslyn GroceryRoslyn, WashingtonRoslyn Grocery is a classic community market serving customers in Roslyn, Washington, offering a wide variety of fresh foods and fresh produce options. With COVID, they began a concierge service for customers. They also have a strict mask policy, protecting the health of their team members and customers, creating signage so it was clear what the expectations were upon entering the store. Roslyn Grocery also worked with a non-profitorganization to prepare and deliver 300 nutrition bags to their community! Thank you to all of our customers who went above and beyond to serve their communities through COVID-19. Your success is our success, and Harbor is always here to ensure you’re able to continue taking care of our customers!
Posted on: September 27, 2019
Fruit Valley Village is part of the Minit Mart family located in Vancouver, WA and selling Shell gasoline. This location recently underwent a major renovation. Owner and President Don Rhoads shared insights in what drove this renovation and how they continuously are focused on their community. About Fruit Valley VillageSince the early 1930’s, there has been a store at the Fruit Valley Village location. Minit Mart acquired this location in 1968, and it has been part of the business ever since. The store was originally a 2,800 sq. ft. Superette grocery store but eventually transitioned to the convenience model.Minit Mart is a family owned business much like Harbor. They have roots in the Pacific Northwest and are true partners with the areas that their locations serve. About The RenovationIn 2018, Fruit Valley Village underwent a major renovation which was recently completed. The building built in 1968 went from 2,800 sq. ft. to a 12,000 sq. ft. shopping center to better accommodate the local community’s needs. The store itself added 1,500 sq. ft., adding a 1,200 sq. ft. kitchen with foodservice, including a teaching kitchen and commissary for the community. With the renovation, Minit Mart brought back the Superette grocery store model offering an expanded product selection and more grocery and fresh options for their customers. The decision to incorporate this model was based on the communities needs for quick, convenient, fresh food selections. “With this renovation we’re symbolizing the community’s unique identity. From the physical design of the store and building, to the products we sell. Everything is focused on the Fruit Valley identity.” – Don Rhoads, Owner & President Community ResourcesIn addition to updating the Fruit Valley Village location, tenant locations were added on property in the 12,000 sq. ft. expansion. A credit union, housing resource center, and foodbank are all tenants in the building. The overall theme of this location is to lift up the existing local populations and provide resources to help them thrive in the community.  Thank you Fruit Valley Village and Minit Mart for partnering with Harbor!
Posted on: August 2, 2019
Operating 9 locations throughout Northern California serving Chevron, 76 and Valero gasoline. Harbor’s Regional Sales Manager, Tonya Walker recently met with Mountain Markets’ Director of Operations, Jared Warren to discuss Mountain Market’s recent transition to Harbor. In the next 5 years, how do you see Mountain Markets’ brand evolving? We are working on developing a Foodservice program that is unique and tailored to our customer’s wants and needs. We are excited to partner with Harbor and begin developing a program that will best suit our customers. Our stores are located in a rural area, so being able to provide a wide variety of foodservice items for our customers, from hot breakfast items, to on-the-go dinners, will be another value added for our local community. We are finalizing the launch of our store branding for Treeline Cafe. This new brand is fresh and eye-catching. The new program branding will refresh and update the look and feel of our stores. Staying on top of trends is important in the convenience store industry, and new branding will differentiate our store in our local community. What is something unique about the Mountain Markets chain of stores? Like Harbor, Mountain Markets is also family owned and operated. Being able to partner with other family owned companies has allowed us to keep things local. With Harbor’s help we also began the early phases of launching our new brand for Mountain Markets called Treeline Cafe. We embrace technology and utilize it to be organized and communicate more effectively. This benefits both our team members and our community. We played an active roles in assisting our community during and after the Boles fire here in Weed, California. We also raise money every year for a local Breast Cancer organization as well as contribute to child abuse prevention for our local Community Centers. Since 2010, over $144,000 has been raised for Breast Cancer and since 2013 over $30,000 has been raised for Child Abuse Prevention in our area. How has Harbor helped you achieve your mission since becoming your supplier? Since partnering with Harbor, we have been able to reduce the number of distributors we use and streamline our process of bringingin the products that we need. Through partnering with Harbor and their sales reps, we have also been able to develop a strategic partnering plan that promotes more effective communication and involvement within each of our stores, allowing our managers to become better educated about the products that we carry. Harbor has also helped us in the execution of our branding for our locations by assisting us in developing a brand for our coffee and foodservice programs. Thank you Mountain Markets for taking the time to speak with us, and for being a valued Harbor Customer!