Blaine service station changes name, business strategy
By Jack Kintner
Joe and Sue Khoury, local owners and operators of Crazy Dazy’s service station and convenience store for the past four years, recently became Texaco retailers based in part on sales and in part on their personal approach to the business.
Texaco, a 105-year-old international brand, was purchased by Chevron in 2001 but retailers are still offered the insignia.
“With two other Chevron stations here in town we chose Texaco,” said Joe, whose station has slowly been undergoing a metamorphosis since the couple signed on last August.
Chevron analyzed their business before the couple thought they were really qualified volume-wise to become major brand retailers, but were told that the way they treat people draws customer loyalty and is just as important to building volume, Khoury said.
Both are Lebanese. Joe Khoury came to the U.S. 29 years ago as a graduate student in chemistry at Wayne State University.
He worked in Texas and in Sumas before returning to Lebanon in 1994, but eight years later returned to the area, settling in Blaine and buying the service station.
The Khourys keep the station open 15 or more hours each day and it is not an easy way to make a living.
The couple’s four children also work there – Nancy, who graduated last year from Blaine and is a freshman at Whatcom Community College, Jimmy, a senior at Blaine this year, Joyce, a sophomore and Christi, a fourth grader.
Khoury said his business approach is that “customers will come back if you treat them right, and give them the best product for the cheapest price.”
He carries local and area wines, cheese, beer and eggs in trying to offer “one-stop shopping.” It still has a pay phone booth off to one side, an amenity that with the advent of cell phones is rapidly disappearing but which is often necessary in this area where cell phones often do not work well due to the border.
Despite stocking only major brand gasolines and never adding ethanol before beginning negotiations with Chevron last August, he tries to make sure Crazy Dazy’s price is equal to or lower than any other station in Blaine.
His business is 90 to 95 percent Canadian, he said, and is mostly repeat customers, adding “we’d like to get more of our neighbors to come by, too.”
Thanks to his new affiliation, Khoury now offers diesel fuel under a canopy high enough to accommodate large trucks.
he once had each of three 100,000-gallon tanks filled
with a separate grade of gasoline, he was able to dedicate
one to diesel because his new pumps make the middle level,
usually called super unleaded, by blending 60 percent
regular with 40 percent power premium grade.
He said he will be adding propane within a few months.
The station is located at 347 D Street in Blaine, and can be reached at 332-1904.