When the Fuel Express gas station in Brookfield shut down this summer, Diane Powell had to go elsewhere for gas, usually hitting the station on Route 7 at Chestnut Ridge Road in Hubbard Township.
“It’s not far, but it’s far enough,” the Sharon woman said of having to go out of her way for gas.
Powell said she likes to come to Brookfield for gas because it’s cheaper than in Pennsylvania.
“In Pennsylvania, we pay the extra state tax, so, I’m always stopping here,” said Debbie Dillon.
While Dillon lives in Zelionople, Pa., she comes to Masury once a week to visit her mom, and her son also lives nearby.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on the process, hoping it would open soon,” she said Dec. 29 as she filled her tank.
Fuel Express reopened the first week of December. The Ramahi family of Austintown bought the gas station six years ago, and renovated it this year, adding the 1,066-square foot convenience store with a kitchen for hot food made to order.
Timothy Gladis of Brookfield said he has been a long-time customer and has been friendly with the Ramahis.
“What a great family,” he said.
On Gladis’ first visit to the store, a member of the family “grabbed me by the arm and took me to every piece of that building, told me how he stocked the shelves, and how he planned the thing out, and it cost how much money,” Gladis said.“He literally teared up. He was so proud of that. He said, ‘I love my customers. I love this community.’ That is gratification you can’t buy. We gotta bottle that and sell it.”
Gas was the draw for Powell and Dillon, who had not ventured inside, yet, but said they would eventually.
“I’m glad they’re reopened,” Dillon said.
Randy Davis of Masury, another gas customer, said the station is a perfect fit in what remains of Brookfield’s commercial district.
“Convenient, especially you come up to the store, or something,” he said. “Two birds with one stone – You come up, get something to eat at Mr. D’s or something and come here to get your gas.”
NEWS On the Green was unable to set up an interview with the Ramahis.