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Business Happenings - December 2003

Moab Chevron: not your usual convenience store/gas station
by Carrie Switzer


Moab Chevron
817 S. Main St.
Moab, Utah

Patio tables and potted plants outside, fresh deli sandwiches inside. Not your usual convenience store/gas station scene at all.

In fact, with a car wash and automotive detailing services, and even more tables indoors, Moab Chevron could well be the working person’s preferred multi-purpose lunch-hour dining spot.

Managers Stuart and Ashle Kent have upgraded an already good thing at the station on South Highway 191, where former owner Ron Miller built gasoline islands far from the front door of the store, and served fried foods, especially chicken, daily. Stuart’s father, Howard Kent, bought the business three years ago, sent his landscaper son and his family from Salt Lake City to Moab to run the store, and the couple has barely missed a beat on upgrading quality and services since.

“We were up 27 percent in sales this season,” Stuart said, attributing the increase to a loyal local clientele and a billboard north of town notifying Chevron Cardholders to head south of town before filling up. “We’ve completely remodeled, built a fast food counter, an office and purchased new equipment. We’ve begun to have a regular group of coffee drinkers here in the morning, and our deli is really a good thing.”
The deli opened last March, and is separate from the fast food counter where the usual fare found at a convenience store can still be had, but in a roomier, brighter self-serve manner.

The deli is full service, run by another Salt Lake City transplant, Ron Thomas, who prepares fresh and exotic pasta salads, specialty pastas, good breads, vegie dips and fruit salads.

“We’re small,” Ron says, “so we can make everything fresh and offer something healthier to people on the road. We even have homemade granola bars.”

The deli is still developing, Stuart adds, and will soon expand to offer take-out dishes such as lasagna.
Moab Chevron is open 24 hours a day, and more notably in Moab, year-round. The deli, currently open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will expand with the purchase of a walk-in freezer and development of the take out menu. Fried foods, including chicken, are available anytime.

“The first thing we did was remodel,” Stuart says, “then we added the car wash. We offer a $1 car wash for locals, and that has brought in a lot of business. Now we have the deli and I’ve started car detailing by appointment. This winter we’ll be expanding some of our plans.”

Which is what Stuart said he likes about Moab winters. Although business drops off considerably, that is when Stuart sets to work on new projects.

“During the summer all we can do is keep up with business,” he said. “I like winter because I can get my projects done.”

Stuart and Ashle have two living projects helping them out: 5-year-old Tala and 6-month-old Indigo. The latter is responsible for the purchase of a high chair, available to customers for indoor seating.

Moab Chevron employs 14 staff, and the environment is hometown friendly. From tables indoor or out is a classic view of the Moab Rim, and because the gas pumps were intelligently placed a good distance from the store’s entrance there is little bustle or interruption of the view.

Stuart said nearly half of his business comes from the local community, and he intends to offer full service, including water and air, all year long, 24 hours a day. Moab Chevron is located at 817 S. Main St. For further information, or to inquire about automobile detailing, call 259-0500.

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