After 37 years in the gas business, Maedac House on Crewe Road has closed its pumps.
The company ceased operations as a Rubis authorized distributor earlier this year to look at other opportunities where it can focus on distribution of convenience items, said Morgan DaCosta, director and operations manager.
The mini-market, car wash and tire shop remain open for business, he said.
Mr. DaCosta’s father, Hartmann DaCosta, started Maedac House 37 years ago with a little shack after purchasing land on Crewe Road from Wilford Ryan. The station and two pumps were added as a Texaco expansion station after the elder DaCosta identified the opportunity for a gas station in the area when the road was upgraded.
“Cayman was a place where you had to look for other opportunities to stay in business those days, but the dynamics have changed today,” Mr. DaCosta said.
In 1971, Mr. DaCosta’s father ran a business from his home in Savannah, supplying biscuits and chips to local convenience stores, schools and gas stations.
As the business grew, it moved to a property on North Sound Road. When the lease was up, Hartmann DaCosta moved on to Crewe Road and in 1979 built his own building, where the DaCosta family business has been based ever since.
“As things changed, the road had an effect on the business,” said Mr. DaCosta.
“There are more people in the market, more stores in concentrated populated areas, so we looked at the best way forward. We determined we did not want to be in competition with the stores we were supplying, and not in the business of selling gas,” he said.
As suppliers of consumer goods such as snacks, sodas and cleaning products, Mr. DaCosta said the mix works well in the convenience stores.
“The competition is very stiff running a gas station today. Unfortunately, we cannot all compete on the same price,” he said.
Among other things, he said, the cost of having fuel supplied on demand is very expensive. He noted, however, that the Rubis suppliers had never been a problem.
Mr. DaCosta said they have a good management team in place and see a lot of opportunities for growth. Hartmann DaCosta, now 79, along with his wife Emma Jane, is still involved in the business, although not as much as in earlier years. He still sits on the family board but tells his sons it’s now their time to take care of the business. Morgan DaCosta’s wife Jocelyn runs Maedac Supplies’ human resources division.