Beyond Essential Local Leaders: Sun Pacific Energy
Spanning four generations, the Eerkes Family has provided quality fuel products and exemplary service to all their customers.
Customer Spotlight

Beyond Essential Local Leaders: Sun Pacific Energy

June 9, 2021

Spanning 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.

Sun 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

Sun 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 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.

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Posted on: June 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: June 9, 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.