In celebration of Father's Day, we reached out to our customer Tek & Sundeep Sandhu owners of stores along the Oregon coast.
Beyond Essential Family Focus: Tek and Sundeep Sandhu
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.
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.
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!