Little Gas Station on the Prairie: Hi-Test in Elbert
  
Small businesses are the backbone of America. They offer service with a smile. Local business owner, Eddy Sanders, of the Hi-Test Gas Station in Elbert, is no exception.

He and his family took over the business in 2013, in the autumn, and have now carved out a niche in their community, by deciding to be different from most gas stations and convenience stores. When asked why he decided to buy the station, he says, “We had been commuting for years but always wanted to do something more community-centric. We wanted to live here rather than reside here. We see an opportunity to redefine how a gas station/convenience store works in a community… we have lots of changes to make—slowly!”

  
Those who live on the prairie and in the black forest know it is a long way to anywhere; many commute to their jobs in town while preferring the quiet of country living. Others haul cattle around and run massive farm equipment. Fuel is a vital necessity no one can live without, and Hi-Test prides itself on being one of the few places you can get tax-free diesel for your tucks and farming equipment.

 
I ask Eddy what he loves most about the job, and he grins and says, “Definitely our customers. Our job is to provide the fuel they need to take on their daily challenges.”

 
Helping the customer have a positive experience is a high priority for Eddy and his employees. “Our clerks are the best,” he says, “always happy to see you. We have strict no-moaning policy!”

 
More than a gas station, Hi-Test is also a convenience store branching out into more options for its customers. “We just received a full retail liquor license and will opening a small section of the store for that,” Eddy says. “We are always working to make the store and experience better. Our website has ‘product suggestion’ and ‘feedback’ pages, we are on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Google+, Instagram… wherever you are online you can contact us, or go old school and give us feedback face-to-face.”

 
The next time you need fuel, stop in at Hi-Test and meet the good-natured clerks. Stock up on your favorite goodies while you’re at it. They’ll be happy to see you!

 

Interview Conducted in July 2015