Wayne DeKorte, owner of the nearly 45-year-old Exxon Station on Howard Boulevard in Mount Arlington, clearly recalls the havoc that Hurricane Sandy wrought on the business three years ago. After losing power, “we had 25,000 gallons of gas in the ground that we couldn’t pump, electronic credit card machines that didn’t work, and everyone was getting restless,” he said. “Thanks to a large mobile generator which I borrowed from a friend and ultimately brought down to the station, we were able to make miracles happen for people.”
As a result of that experience, the installation of a generator was a must when DeKorte elected to convert the auto repair garage on their property to a full-service, 2,500 square-foot Tiger Mart convenience store this past spring. “Our store has a decent-sized cooler and refrigerator and we didn’t want to lose food or gas in the event of an outage – we want to be a pillar for the community and stay backed-up,” shared store partner Ken Chermak, who noted that the availability of a FEMA grant towards this investment helped bring it to fruition.
While DeKorte and Chermak, both formerly in the construction industry, did much of their own framing, plumbing, and mechanical work for the new store, “we needed a competent electrical contractor to provide demolition, wiring, lighting, and fit-out support to our conversion and also specify and install our generator,” Chermak said. “We found that there are a lot of junk contractors out there and that you get what you pay for. The team from Esposito’s proved to be the only ones we could deal with – they came over quickly, saw our plans, and got it right away. We shook hands with them and never looked back,” he said.
Understanding the station’s desire to back-up their refrigeration, gas pumps, and other essentials, “we designed a system that got all of the service they wanted on it,” confirmed Esposito’s Project Manager Mike Esposito of the 48 kW Generac generator and 400-amp service that his team installed.
Since then, Chermak said that he and DeKorte couldn’t feel more empowered. “As business owners, it’s very comforting to know that you have no fear of losing your inventory – we have several thousand dollars of frozen food onsite and we can go full steam ahead as long as our suppliers are able to keep getting us product. A generator is a lasting capital investment in your property that’s transferrable to any other owner,” he said. “It adds great value to the property as well as the security of knowing that you can remain in business when the utility fails.”
Most importantly, Chermak said, he was glad to have such a solid contracting partner on the job. “The Esposito’s team was extremely accommodating, very fair price-wise, and the quality of their work was top-of-the-line,” he said.
“We’re delighted that Wayne and Ken were so happy with our work, expertise, experience, and ability to meet their tight deadline,” concluded Esposito, who said he’s also excited for the strong position the landmark Exxon station and its new convenience store are now in. “With their centralized location right off Route 80, their generator will be critical to ensuring that they can remain operational and competitive should there ever be another outage or storm like Sandy.”