T&D Variety’s new owner Max Patel and his family are getting into the swing of things after a smooth transition of ownership May 18. Former owners Tim Simmons and Deb Frenkel ran the store and gas station for seven years.
Patel said he discovered Simmons’ and Frenkel’s interest in selling through the Sunoco company. One phone call later, he and wife Sejal were visiting Simmons and Frenkel. “We visited a couple years ago and I loved this area. I came with my kids and family and I saw this gas station and it just stayed on my mind like 'If I could buy this, that would be really nice’ … Those guys are nice, Tim and Deb. We spent a good while at their house and the same day we finalized the deal.”
Patel and brother-in-law Jagdish own gas stations and convenience stores from Massachusetts to Maine, Sunoco Gas Station in Randolph and Chelsea Gas Station among those closest. Patel said because the family’s businesses are in relatively small towns, staying true to the communities is important.
“I don't want to change names because these guys are really good people. It gives me a good blessing to continue running the business as T&D Variety … And the store will have a new cooler with a wider selection of beverages and shelves will have a few more options, but for the most part, T&D will not be changing very much anytime soon.”
The reason Maine, and the small towns the Patels have chosen to do business in, resonate with the family is the sense of community. Everyone working for Simmons and Frenkel will stay on at T&D and there are also new openings, said Patel. The store will frequently have one of the Patels coming around to help staff, but management will also be staying the same.
“We are always doing what we can to try and support the community. We love this place and we love all the people here … All my employees are like family and these guys are very good staff.”
On May 29, the Patels and the T&D Variety team offered free gas to first responders as a show of appreciation to all the hard and dangerous work going on with COVID-19. Max Patel said it was an important gesture because everyone is working hard to keep life going as normally as possible.
“We are a hardworking people, trying to respect everybody and we are definitely trying to support the community … Whatever we can do to support the community, we're always ready to do that.”