Story and Photos courtesy of
Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office
ATHENS – Something happens to people stopping at Elgin Street Convenience & Gas – they become repeat customers.
Young entrepreneurs James and Kelsey Budynski have transformed an aging gas station property in this village into a top-notch, one-stop location with many services. They’ve grown an impressively large clientele in a short period of time and call many coming through the door by their first names.
“A lot of our customers are loyal and come every day,” says James. “We’re a convenience store with a big focus on friendly, old-fashioned service so people feel comfortable.”
The couple purchased the business in 2016 and immediately started making improvements and adding services. It is one of the reasons they were recipients of the 2017 Ben TeKamp Award for showing a remarkable capacity to revitalize a business to meet the changing needs of a community.
They operate a bottle return depot, the only authorized Empty Bottle Dealer for the Beer Store between Brockville and Crosby. During a peak week last summer, the couple took in more than 50,000 cans.
A fan favourite is the large coffee bar with pastry specials and customers who start arriving at 5:30 a.m. You can buy everything from snack foods and dairy products to wood pellets and engine oil. You can even have a key cut. More recently, a licensed Lotto Centre was added and more additions and renovations are planned.
“We’re also a full-service gas station and there’s not many of those left,” says James. The gas provider is W.O. Stinson and Sons Ltd. with unleaded and diesel fuel.
It is still early days in the business but James says they doubled their January sales over last year. On one Saturday, they had 60 snowmobilers. People are coming back and appreciate the service that is available. James and Kelsey are also community- minded and have a large TV where community groups can publicize their events or area businesses can advertise.
Elgin Street Convenience and Gas Bar hours are Monday to Friday 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.Learn more on their website and Facebook page (5-star rating), send them an email or call 613-924-9868.