By Epiphany Communications & Coaching*
Frank Awdish Jr. and Javante Shamammi became business partners not long after meeting for the first time. “We just met last year,” said Awdish. “Our dads are good friends. They have done various business ventures together. When this opportunity came up, we talked about it, and it made sense.”
The two began coordinating efforts and preparing to take over two businesses. They converted Cork & Rye on Northwestern Highway in Farmington Hills, Michigan, into a gas station and opened a brand-new BP gas station in Lathrup Village, Michigan, as well. They purchased the business at 14 mile and Northwestern across from the Home Depot, gutted it, revamped it, added to it, and opened it. It is a 4,500 square foot c-store and gas station.
The store in Lathrup Village used to be a Verizon store. “We bought it, gutted it and revamped that one as well,” said Awdish. “That store is about 3,000 square-feet.”
When the two created a plan to update the store on Northwestern, they had a clear vision. “We really wanted to make it one of the nicest gas stations in the area and when people walk in that is what we wanted them to see — how beautiful the store is with our high ceilings, open spaces and the variety of products we carry.”
Awdish said their goal is to be known for their variety. “It truly is a one-stop-shop. We have liquor, wine, beer, and tobacco. It truly is a market with 35 coolers filled with craft beer, seltzer and so much more. Our niche is the variety we carry.”
Awdish and Shammami work on the two businesses together. Awdish also owns a Tim Horton’s in West Bloomfield, Michigan, where he spends a few hours a day as well.
“Javante is a morning guy who comes in and reconciles the register where I place orders and work with the customers,’ said Awdish. “It is great to be an owner operator, because you can control your own hours.”
Although Awdish works several hours a day between his businesses, he does make time for entertainment. He plays both hockey and golf. “I also workout at the gym about four to five days a week,” he said.
The two have a third partner who works more behind the scenes. “Tarek Gayar is more of an investor,” said Awdish. “He doesn’t work the day to day.”
They are still working on acquiring licenses to sell liquor, beer, and wine, “but the store in Lathrup Village is also beautiful with plenty of parking and electric charging station,” said Awdish.
After purchasing Tim Horton’s on Maple and Orchard Lake with his father at 18 years old, Awdish dropped out of college. He was studying business at Oakland University at the time. “It just got to be too much trying study while working 364 days a year,” said Awdish. “We only close on Christmas.”
While Tim Horton’s runs like a well-oiled machine, the two gas stations are slowly increasing in sales and foot traffic. “Javante has experience in the gas station business,” said Awdish. “He is a great operator.”
Shammami and Awdish have similar business philosophies. “He is a great partner; relentless hard work,” said Awdish.
*Writers with Epiphany Communications & Coaching are content creators for Bottom Line.