Niles’ Marathon manPublished 10:28am Wednesday, March 6, 2013
When it comes to serving his customers, Pete Adams is old school.
Pete, who has been running Pete’s Southside Marathon in Niles since the late 1960s, waited until last week to install pay-at-the pump gas dispensers at his South 11th Street station — something already offered by competitors for many, many, many years.
“You have to get updated with the times,” he said. “People now, they are in such a big (expletive) hurry — excuse my French — but they are. They just want to put their credit card in and go. It’s a hurry-up world anymore. It’s not like it used to be.”
Pete is one of the last — if not the very last — service station owners in the area to pump gas for customers upon request. Most customers don’t even have to ask Pete.
He knows them on sight.
“We take care of our people — especially the old people I know who’ve been trading with me for 40-some years,” he said. “We take care of them.”
If you visit Pete’s Southside Marathon, don’t call it gas station. It’s a full service station, offering everything under the sun related to auto maintenance, from oil changes, to tire work to transmission repair. You can rent a U-Haul there too.
“This isn’t a gas station — that’s important,” he said. “We offer service. If you just want gas you can go across the street.”
It took about three weeks for the old pumps to get replaced with the new ones.
During that time, Pete said his customers wanted to know when they’d reopen.
“They are dedicated,” he said. “They were calling and asking, ‘Where are we going to get our gas?’
“You take good care of people, and they will be back. I don’t care what you are doing for them, they’ll be back.”
Pete estimates he regularly pumps gas for about 50 customers. He enjoys it.
“I am a people person — yep — I like people,” he said.
You can find Pete at the service station, 1293 S. 11th St., Niles. Call the station at (269) 684-3340.