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Local business shows how thank you can go a long way


Mom always taught us to say words like “please” and “thank you”. These words are a regular part of the vocabulary for one local business. The store owners go out of their way to let customers know how much they are appreciated.

“It’s the only gas station I’ve ever been to where they come out and thank you for buying gas,” said loyal customer Annie Gray.

Tommy and Nancy have run the Early Bird Gas Station on Wrightsville Avenue since 1987. Their loyal customers keep coming back. They say it is because the owners take a couple seconds out of their day to put a smile on their customers’ faces. “We come because they’re like family, they’re super friendly, and we like helping out local people,” Michael Carter said.

“Most people when they pay at the pump, they don’t pay inside,” said owner Tommy Early. “Nine out of ten people do not come inside. So if they’re to be thanked then that means Nancy and I walk out and thank people.”

Duane Ingram stopped by for the first time a year and a half ago. Now, he will not fill up anywhere else. “Anytime I’m at the beach, I will come by even if gas is a penny more, somewhere else, I’ll always make an effort to come by and see them, they’re the nicest couple.”

They are not just coming by for the gas. “I bought all my Christmas presents here this past year. I bought 30 jars of vegetable soup, and I gift-wrapped them and gave them away. I just love this gas station, they’re my friends,” said Gray.

“They could go to 25 other places within a half a mile of here and do business with them, so if they’re going to come and do business with us, we’re going to do our very best to say ‘thank you’ and show appreciation,” said Tommy Early.

The owners are so humble they didn’t even want us to do this story, because they thought it would seem like they were “tooting their own horn”. But we felt their kindness and business savvy was exceptional, and deserved to be acknowledged.

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Story summary

videoMom always taught us to say words like “please” and “thank you”. These words are a regular part of the vocabulary for one local business.

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