This company has flourished by embracing a diverse array of services, from wholesale fuel delivery to operating convenience stores. Diversity is the key for the Tewksbury, Mass.-based Energy North Group. The company operates three divisions: retail, wholesale, and transportation. Energy North operates a dozen convenience stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire under the Fresh Express banner. These three divisions of allow the company to be well balanced.
On the fuel wholesale and delivery side, Energy North has its own trucks to pick up all major brands of gasoline at the terminal. The trucks then make fuel deliveries across New England.
Counting all facets of the business, the company has about 150 employees and is looking to grow, especially on the convenience store and wholesale side. The company is currently in a major acquisition mode and is trying to add company-operated and dealer locations to its portfolio. In 2009, Energy North Group acquired the retail stores and dealer locations from Draper Energy in Wilton, NH. In addition to the company-owned convenience store locations, Energy North also has consignments, meaning it owns the gas but the dealer does everything else in the store.
Throughout the convenience store chain, the goal is to have a varied selection of fresh food offerings and clean stores. Most stores have their own delis or deli cases and offer made-to-order selections. As the company continues to grow, it is constantly looking at new ways to improve its fresh product selections for its stores.
Creating customer loyalty
It’s always a challenge to make sure the stores offer the freshest products while making sure there is a minimum of waste and positive margins are maintained. By implementing a strong infrastructure and emphasizing the importance of day-to-day operations to its employees, the Fresh Express convenience stores have been able to succeed.
The company has also been testing some customer loyalty programs to make sure it is maximizing repeat business at its stores. The goal of the program is to bring people into the stores, car washes, and delis and make them regular customers.
The company constantly strives to provide a menu at its stores that far exceeds the expectations of those familiar with typical convenience store fare. The menu includes a mix of soups, fresh fruit cups, salads, and hot and cold deli items as well as children’s and catering menus.
One call, one stop fuel service
Energy North Group was founded in 1981 and delivers branded and unbranded gasoline and diesel to customers across New England. With its years of experience in the industry, the company can assist its customers with design, construction, and station renovation.
The company offers cooperative buying programs for convenience stores and service bays, and it offers rental and property purchase programs. Energy North flies all the major flags and can offer its customers many choices. The company has developed the signage, credit card systems, and promotions for its own unbranded gasoline and is supplied by eight unbranded terminals for the best possible pricing. The dealers get the benefit of Energy North’s experience in the retail convenience stores and provide these dealers many of the areas for success.
In addition to providing the best possible pricing, the company is one of only three in New England that offers E85 (85% ethanol) for flex-fuel vehicles. The company prides itself on being on the forefront of alternative fuel and energy sources and is looking at ways to use solar energy in its convenience stores.
Looking to grow
Energy North Group is always looking to grow, whether it is with new fuel customers or by adding more convenience stores to its growing chain. Currently, the company has convenience stores across Massachusetts, including Townsend, two in Everett, Winthrop, East Boston at Logan International Airport, and Tewksbury, and in New Hampshire in Amherst, Wilton, Merrimack, Salem, and Milford.
With its continuing growth, the company is constantly looking for quality employees to join its team. It typically has positions in its stores as well as in its corporate office in Tewksbury.