New operators to take gas station forward
Life's a gas for new Esso City Service Station operator Robert Holdipp.
Mr Holdipp and his family took over the Hamilton city centre location in June, and he doesn't regret swapping a comfortable career with a senior post at a shipping company for a new life as an entrepreneur.
Mr Holdipp, co-founder of H&M Service Stations, said: “You reach a point in your life when it's time to branch out and give something else a try.
“It's indeed a change, but it's something we were ready for.
“I would say the opportunity presented itself and it was time for us to act on it.”
Mr Holdipp has a hands-on approach to the venture as he works at the service station, which includes a convenience store, with wife Leonette and son Aaron.
He said: “Business is good and we are looking to improve it with upping our customer service levels.
“We certainly want to take things to the next level to make sure every customer leaves satisfied.”
Mr Holdipp, former assistant manager at Meyer Freight, took control of the 24-hour gas station at the start of June.
It was formerly operated by FC Service Station Ltd, run by Craig Cannonier, the Bermuda Government Minister for Public Works, which had operated the site for a decade. FC still operates Esso stations in Warwick and Smith's.
Mr Holdipp retained all 15 existing staff and now employs a total of 18 people, 12 full-time and six part-time.
“Everyone is on board and looking forward to us all going to the next level,” he said.
“As the name implies, a service station is all about service that is something I believe we excel at.
“Our goal is to earn the loyalty and patronage of every Hamilton motorist and shopper and of course the entire motoring public on the island.”
Supervisor Marvin Pitcher said Mr Holdipp's leadership was “empowering, respectful, customer-focused and fair.”
The station has already introduced a corporate charge account service and financial incentives for fleet operators who use the station.
Mr Holdipp said he was not entirely new to service stations as he helped run the former Cox's Hill BTOC gas station with his father more than a decade ago.
The Esso City Service Station, owned by Sol Petroleum Bermuda, is at the junction of Richmond Road and Church Street, and has access from Par-la-Ville Road.
Update: The headline of this article has been changed to reflect that the Holdipp family are the new operators, not the new owners, of the gas station