Easy Being Green

N.H. "congreenience" store and biofuels station celebrates its grand opening

Published in CSP Daily News

By
Abbey Lewis, Executive Editor

DOVER, N.H. -- It's not every day that you'll see Simply Green founder and manager Andrew Kellar pumping gas and cleaning windshields. But last Friday, December 5, wasn't just any regular day for Kellar--it marked the grand opening of his new Simply Green biofuels station and "congreenience" store in Dover, N.H. In addition to Kellar's service with a smile, the company celebrated the day by offering cheaper gas and free coffee for customers.

"This was a dead spot for two years, so we're just trying to retrain the flow of traffic back through here," Kellar told CSP Daily [image-nocss] News, looking out through the big front window at his two pumps that dispense 10% ethanol fuel, and one that pumps biodiesel. "I think people are just happy to know that there's gas here again. We just need to drive traffic into the store because this never, ever was a convenience store until now."

Located in what Kellar refers to as Dover's "green corridor," home to a natural food store, Habitat for Humanity and an environmentally friendly dry cleaner, the retail portion of Kellar's fueling station is as true to his earth-friendly vision as the fuel. The store is powered in part by six solar panels on the roof, supplying about 1,000 watts of electricity. Flooring for the roughly 550-square-foot store is all bamboo (Kellar installed it himself), and the space is lit by LED fixtures, which last longer than traditional lighting sources and require less energy.

Paint on the inside and outside of the store is made of low-volatile organic compounds, and on top of it all, the brick, distinctly New England building, as well as the pumps, are 100% reused.

Meanwhile, the company's wholesaler, Associated Buyers, is helping Simply Green stick to a 100-mile goal of product selection within the store. Almost 84% of all items for retail are manufactured, farmed or packaged within a 100-mile radius of the store.

Simply Green houses one two-door cooler for local and nationally recognized beverages and another one-door cooler for locally made sandwiches, soup and sushi.

"We wanted to do something so different, so nontraditional," Kellar said. "Every time we make a decision [about the store] we try to think the opposite of what a normal oil guy or a traditional gas station person would-from how we market ourselves and how we promote ourselves, the image that we have. At the end of the day, we just want the overall feeling of the place to be a lot different."

Simply Green Biofuel is based in Portsmouth, N.H. It began as a biofuel home heating oil supplier in 2006. Today, Simply Green Biofuel supplies more than 1,000 homes in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. The company, which uses a blend of soybean oil and tallow as feedstock, also distributes biodiesel. The Simply Green c-store is the company's first retail petroleum location.