NEW YORK -- Mitch Nesheiwat, founder of Gas Land Petroleum Inc. and the cover story focus of the April issue of Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner, is one of 34 finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in New York.
EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award, according to the organization. Each spring, the business community comes together to celebrate regional semifinalists, finalists and winners.
The honorees not only create and build market-leading businesses, but also help take the standard of excellence to new heights, transform the face of industry, create jobs and contribute to the vibrancy of communities, explained EY, a global provider of assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.
The New York program encompasses New York State, southern Connecticut and Long Island. An awards gala for the region will take place Tuesday, June 17 at New York City's Marriott Marquis hotel.
Nesheiwat, formerly a New York taxi driver, took the leap into the petroleum business in 1978, operating a gas station in the Hudson Valley under the Power Test Corp. brand, which is now Getty Petroleum. While running that station, he started to bring in products, including milk, eggs, soda and chips, essentially creating a mini convenience store, which at the time did not exist in the area.
By the early 1980s, he took another leap when he purchased his first location in Kingston, N.Y., and became the first in his area to open a full convenience store at a gas station. From that point on, Nesheiwat continued buying stations. He looked for sites with a garage so he could convert them to full c-stores.
That was the start of what is today Gas Land Petroleum Inc. In the beginning, Gas Land operated the stores purchased by Nesheiwat, but since 2008, it is strictly a franchised operation that leases the locations it buys to independent operators.
In 1989, Nesheiwat also became a distributor and today supplies Sunoco, Shell and CITGO fuels to more than 100 franchisees, as well as 60 additional locations in the Hudson Valley area. A few unbranded locations fly the Gas Land flag.
Click here to read the full April cover story, "Opportunity Knocks."