This month’s goEBT Merchant Spotlight is on a Bhavishaben Patel in Gray, Georgia. Mr. Patel is the owner of not just one, but three different businesses in his community that make life more convenient for consumers. At his c-store, Handy Andy, he’s making life easier with lower prices than lower competitors and that’s just the beginning of his positive impact.
When Bhavishaben purchased his first Handy Andy c-store in 2002, it was also a gas station. He decided the gas pumps weren’t necessary and chose to remove the pumps and focus on the inside of his store. Since then, Patel has improved the product offering in the store, started accepting EBT, added a countertop Bill Pay solution, and put in an ATM. Bhavishaben is so dedicated to his business' success, he even purchased the attached location and opened a laundromat. By turning his location into a “one-stop-spot” for the people in Gray, he’s been able to not only increase his loyal customer count, but also continuously bring in new customers.
At Handy Andy, the Bill Pay solution is a big hit. Because the town is small, local individuals are very appreciative of a close small business that caters to their needs.
Even though Mr. Patel removed the gas pumps at one of his locations, he still sells gas at the other c-store. Patel says that he thinks it’s important to keep prices lower than local competitors so that customers will continue to spend their money at his businesses.
Patel even made mention of his decision to sell lottery tickets at his store. His store is even number one in lottery sales in Jones County and number 3 in lottery sales in Mid-Georgia. Having already sold winning tickets worth $100,000 and $400,000, Patel says lottery is a great way to keep his foot traffic high.