The former Island Esso service station re-opened last week under a new name.
But the new name has a familiar face attached – none other than genial businessman David Peynado. The station, on the corner of Shedden Road and Thomas Russell Drive, is now David’s Esso.
Name recognition is important in Cayman, a factor David took into account when he reinstated the name of the late Delworth McLaughlin for the station he runs down on North Church Street.
As the operator of Delworth’s since 1991, plus 14 months with West Bay Road Esso, David is prepared for his new challenge.
He had been scheduled to take over the Shedden Road site on 28 September. ‘But Ivan had other plans,’ he said, referring to the hurricane on 11-12 September that temporarily incapacitated so much of Grand Cayman.
Delworth’s and other stations around the Island such as Walkers Road Texaco and Industrial Park Esso were able to open within a week of the storm.
But David’s new acquisition was less fortunate. ‘We had to dump everything, sanitise the building and restock with all new merchandise,’ reported station manager Louis Prince.
The good news is that the fuel storage tanks passed government inspection. There are no leaks, no water problems, the two men said.
But the fuel dispensers were damaged and there were not enough spare parts on the Island to get all of them up and running. They will be put right as parts come in. Meanwhile, David pointed out, the two pumps closest to the road are in good working order.
So are the coolers inside. However, some of the food service equipment, such as the ice cream machine, has to be replaced.
For now, the station is open 6am to 8pm daily. But David said he would expand to 24 hours ‘as soon as it is viable.’
He is proud of the team he has assembled to staff the station as he divides his time between Delworth’s and David’s.
Louis, he pointed out, is an old friend, having served with the Cayman Islands Police Department 1969-72. His last five years were spent in the tourism industry – FDR Pebbles in Jamaica, to be exact — where he specialised in food and beverage, customer service and staffing.
‘A lot of old customers have expressed their joy in seeing us open again,’ Louis said.