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$1 wholesale gas hike prompts locking of pumps
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Mike Hamed has locked off the gasoline pumps at his Quick & Easy Food Mart at the corner of Yosemite and Powers avenues because of a $1 hike in the wholesale price from the Boyett Oil Co. He said his customers wouldnt even drive into his station if he posted a retail of $4.89. - photo by GLENN KAHL

A $1 spike in the wholesale gasoline price caused a Manteca convenience store operator to lock off his pumps Wednesday theorizing the posting of the $4.89 per gallon price would drive his customers away.

Mike Hamed of the Quick & Easy Food Mart located at the corner of Yosemite and Powers avenues said he has some 9,000 gallons of fuel underground from Boyett Oil that he cannot sell at the inflated price.

The convenience store/service station was opened in early August by the Stockton man who previously called Manteca his home after he entered into a lease with Boyett.  He said he was hoping to move back to Manteca after the business evolved and proved itself.

Hamed said gasoline is now costing him $4.05 before taxes of 57 cents in addition to the 8.25 percent sales tax and a two cent per gallon under storage fee.  He added that Tuesday night the price per gallon from Boyett went up another 41 cents per gallon – equaling the $1 increase since last Wednesday.

Prices are normally locked in over the weekends with it being $3.99 cents per gallon last Friday to Monday that included taxes, less the sales tax.  Prior to last Thursday it was $3.95 per gallon.

Currently his wholesale gasoline price is at $4.73 per gallon with all the taxes included,  requiring a retail price for a fill-up of $4.89.

“I am closed for the day until I can compete,” Hamed said.  “Costco is $3.87 today – I would be $1 higher.” 

Boyett’s offices in Modesto were contacted for their comment Wednesday afternoon by the Bulletin, but there was no response as of press time.

Hamed noted that he receives an email every night from the company listing the wholesale prices per gallon. He is questioning why the larger companies are able to sell gas so much less than he can at his new business.

The prices at other Manteca stations include Arco at 1100 South Main Street at $3.99; Quik Stop at Louise Avenue and Union Road is at $4.05; Quicki Kleen at 707 East Yosemite Avenue, $4.09; Valero, 1001 East Yosemite Avenue, $4.29; and the Gas Depot at 1330 East Yosemite Avenue is at $4.39 – the last three being within blocks of Hamed’s food mart. 

The Manteca businessman said he called his supplier and asked for a meeting to discuss the price increases, saying he was told there was no reason for a meeting.  “I see prices going up at other stations but they are not going up that much,” he quipped.

He said his customers have been upset about the recent $4.35 a gallon adding that they would be really upset seeing a $4.89 price tag.

At that price, he said nobody would stop.

Hamed said he received a large delivery of 10,000 gallons of gasoline on September 27 priced at $3.77 a gallon, noting that the price is really only firm when it is pumped out of the tanks – usually selling 120 gallons per day.

In recent weeks the price of gas has been going up and down by a few cents but not a dollar, he stressed. 

For the current prices per gallon at the many Manteca fuel outlets go online to Manteca Gas Prices.