When you pull into Hanover Fuel Stop in Martins Ferry, OH, you’ll be immediately hit with the magnificent smell of food. After filling up your tank, walk into their kitchen and deli for a bite to eat. They have Hoggies (their version of a Hoagie), burgers and chicken—just to name a few. John Ayers, Owner of Hanover Fuel Stop, wants his visitors to enjoy both cheap gas and a quality, made-to-order meal. Ayers explains how they managed to expand their building amidst the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
What inspired you to get into foodservice?
“When I was young, we spent a lot of time out at the lake. I played around on the grill. It made me feel great seeing people enjoy and talk about what I cooked. As I am getting older it still feels great when someone enjoys something, especially if it reminds them of something from the past.”
What do you love about your business?
“We have great customers and we also have a great staff. I enjoy the people we work with that are hands on with the customers.”
What’s the most interesting thing to happen to your business?
“We have sold Hoagies for years, but I could never think of a good name for things. I had an employee take an order and hoagie was spelled ‘Hoggie.’ It just clicked and we use that to this day. The name Hoggie is bigger and better than any hoagie.”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
“The biggest would be right now. I had plans drawn for a new side of the business a year ago. At first, I was thinking of doing a restaurant / bar. We had a space open and a car lot left and I was looking to fill it. I decided to make the station bigger with a huge kitchen. Well, COVID hit as soon as we started construction. Everything skyrocketed in price. It was hard to get building materials. The fear in everyone’s eyes I will never forget. I had a hard time having employees come in for the fear. We worked extra hard to get it done. Our projection date for being done was July or August. We ended up opening in November. It costed over one and a half times our budget we set. We are now open and working on making that back.”
What Cambro products help make your business work?
“We have a food trailer and a rep from Cambro stopped to see our setup. I bought Cambro hot boxes for years. They are by far the best products that are out there. We also use a lot of the containers for food storage. It’s been very easy to clean and maintain. We bought a couple of ice bins to move our ice to the soda fountain. My favorite is the shelving Cambro sells. It’s easy to clean, looks modern and it can be setup any way you would want it. When I see Cambro, I know it’s quality; it’s worth the extra money.”
Links for Hanover Fuel Stop
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.
Categories: Cambro Featured Business of the Week