THE STOUGHTON SHELL GAME, THE LATEST CHAPTER:
While the two Shell service stations in Cobbs Corner and on Central Street by Route 24 remain closed, awaiting the results of litigation (see previous About Town story), a new Shell station has opened in Stoughton Center next to the VFW Hall, at the location previously held by a long-closed up Getty station.
About Town spoke with new Stoughton Shell owner Jack Mikhael and his wife,
Gilberte. They have two young
daughters. Jack, an outgoing and
friendly guy, told me about his trek from his homeland of Lebanon.
As a Lebanese Christian, “We’ve all had to leave, millions of us. We’ve gone to America and Canada. It’s a shame what has happened to my country.” Mikhael has lived in America for 27 years, all in the Boston area.
He had a similar story to Ghazi Saab, whose experience with Shell has been well chronicled in this space.
“What happened to Ghazi also happened to
me in Natick. I
spent 12 years taking good care of my customers and growing my business. Then
they screwed me out of my business and a half million dollars.”
Saab is still in litigation against Shell Corporation while his two Shell locations in Stoughton remain closed.
While Jack was on vacation in Lebanon, he was looking online and saw the former Getty station in Stoughton Center for sale. “It was a good location in a great area, and it was available.
I called the guy from RE/MAX from overseas. He told me to put in an offer. They were looking for $650,000 and I
picked it up for $570,000. But, I
have spent a ton more in equipment and building here. And, it took a LONG time
to come to terms.”
Mikhael’s said he spent a year “going through hoops” to buy the station. “A nice family owned it. But, they had a lot of partners, and they all made different decisions.” But, he was finally able to secure it, and a property that had owed $40,000 in back taxes to the town, was now up to date and paying $10,000 a year in taxes.
Mikhael’s station (which also has a service center and small convenience area) has been the lowest price gas in Stoughton since he opened. He offers a 6 cent discount for cash on his regular (which was $2.599 at press time.) And, it is the only station in town to offer flex fuel, an ethanol blend.
While it's a self service station, Jack is still willing to help his customers.
Cindy Pazyra, the wife of the town’s Veterans Agent Mike Pazyra, prefers not to pump her own gas. When she stopped in, she said that Jack came out and pumped her gas for her. “He was extremely nice,” she told me. Jack said that he tries to help anyone who needs it, and will always get out and help elderly and disabled customers, or those who’ve never pumped their own gas.
Meanwhile, Mikheal says that business has been good, and he looks forward to getting more integrated in the town. “I want to get involved, to get to know people, and to aid some civic groups. I really like Stoughton, so far.”
He said that in the future, he’d like to open another service station, and have his wife run that one. He’s a real family man, and is really enjoying living in America.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Friday): to Patch contributor and
Stoughton Public Library outreach coordinator Christine Iacobucci;
to Stoughton Chamber Membership Director Joanne Schneider; and to Nanette Tedesco.