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    Irving Oil Expands in Massachusetts

    Canadian company grows from base in New Hampshire, Maine.

    WORCESTER, Mass. -- New Brunswick, Canada-based Irving Oil is expanding its gas station and convenience store presence in New England, adding sites in New Hampshire and Maine and expanding into Massachusetts, according to a report in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

    Irving stations in Worcester, Leicester, Northboro, Dudley, Westminster and Fitchburg are among 50 in Massachusetts, Liza Dube, a company spokeswoman, told the newspaper.

    There are approximately 800 Irving gas stations across Canada and New England. In southern New England, Irving added some 100 new sites in the past 18 months. Future expansion plans were not announced.

    A privately held family business founded in 1924 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Irving is a regional energy processing, transporting and marketing company with operations in Portsmouth, N.H.

    About a year ago, Irving Oil decided to focus on fuel and let go of its convenience stores in a joint venture with Circle K, Dube noted, a tactic that readied Irving for growth.

    "It's really about spreading across our neighborhood, moving into neighborhoods that we're familiar with and close to," she said. "In southern New England, we're focused on finding those dealers, those mom and pops, those people who are part of the community who want to really represent our brand and follow along what it is we'd love to share with the consumers." She added: "There are going to be more mom and pops flying the Irving flag than ever before, we're hoping."

    Tom D'Alonzo, who owns the independent D'Alonzo Irving on Belmont Street in Worcester, said he has been carrying Irving gasoline through a wholesaler since December.

    "They're doing a good job," D'Alonzo told the newspaper. "They're trying to be known in the community. They're good for an oil company."

    Partnering in 2007 with a company called the Override program, Irving Oil enables customer purchases at Shaw's Supermarkets and Dunkin' Donuts to earn gas-price reductions. Spend $50 at Shaw's and the price at the pump is rolled back 20 cents per gallon. Price Chopper and participating Sunoco stations offer a similar program.

    The company's New England Neighbor Initiative asks customers what they want Irving to support through its award of $25,000 in donations to nonprofit organizations.

    Irving Oil Marketing in Portsmouth, N.H., employs roughly 150 people.

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