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Shital Patel and her husband, Sunny Desai, bought the Rising Fawn Food Mart about a month ago and are open for business as they renovate it. They say they set gas prices so low they lose money on it some days, but they hope Rising Fawn will turn to them for groceries and other merchandise.

By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter


At the Rising Fawn Food Mart, independent operators Sunny Desai and his wife, Shital Patel, want the community to know they’ve recently acquired the station – they bought it a month or so ago – and are working to make it the best it can be.  They are renovating inside and putting in new bathrooms.

Desai contracts with a distributor that sells Citgo gas exclusively, he explained, and he says he marks it up only minimally if at all because he wants to compete with the larger station on the other side of the interstate. “I’ve got to compare with them,” he said.

 “Nobody wants to come if it’s cheaper over there.”

But his wholesale costs are higher, said Desai, because corporate stores own their own gas while the little guys have to buy from distributors. “When they [distributors] buy from the main company, they’re the middle person and then we’re the third person,” he said.

As a result, said Desai, his gas profits are nothing to write home about. “Sometimes we lose money, sometimes we don’t,” he said. 

He hopes to offset that by sales inside the store. Rising Fawn has no grocery or general store, and Desai’s Food Mart sells besides lottery tickets and beer a rather extensive array of grocery items and wines. While the Sentinel spoke with Desai, a competing interviewer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was questioning him for food stamp program participation.

So Desai and his wife want the word out that they’re the place to come for food and other merchandise in Rising Fawn. “I want to tell people I’ve got a good, nice store,” said Desai. “Good price, nice quality, you know. I want everything clean.”


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