Babir Sultan once worked in Information Technology, but when that field took a hit, he moved on — figuratively and literally.
Sultan has been the owner of Fav Trip, a Leavenworth convenience store, since August 2012. He moved to Kansas City from the East Coast.
Below, he explains some of the ins and outs of owning a local business.
1. How long have you owned Fav Trip in Leavenworth, and why did you decide to get into the convenience store business?
“I have owned Fav Trip Leavenworth since last year, Aug. 16, 2012, to be exact.
“My background is (information technology) and since the IT industry for computer networking was going downhill, I decided to move from New York to Kansas City and explore other options."
2. What sort of products does the store offer, and what are some of the more unusual items that might not be found in other stores?
“ It is challenging to stand out of the crowd and we do our best.
“We carry many novelty items, and best of all, we love being the only ethanol-free premium station in Leavenworth.
“How many other stations do you know that sell, trade and buy video games?”
3. How does your customer loyalty program work and what are the advantages of joining?
“We are taking our loyalty program to the next level by allowing multiple loyalty programs.
“We have a seven-days-a-week discount for all military — active or non-active people — on gasoline for using cash, and similarly, we have Facebook and a text club with exclusive offers.
“We are also working on an exciting new mobile app that we will be introducing next year.”
4. Tell us about your Shop Small with Fav Trip, known for the ethanol-free gas slogan. What are the advantages to ethanol free gas?
“Ethanol free has the following key benefits: it does burn cleaner; it does improve engine performance; and it's safer for your two-cycle and occasional use motors."
5. What are the challenges of running a convenience store and what is the best thing about operating a business in Leavenworth?
“We currently have three locations: Sedalia, Independence and Leavenworth.Every store has its own set of challenges.
“But, Leavenworth was a special case. The previous tenants left unhappy and damaged the entire store. We had to get a court's order to have them removed from the property.
Page 2 of 2 - “Later, we found out the Army had been banned to visit the store. But, we were able to visit the Fort and have the ban removed.
“So, it has been quite interesting and we're happy to be here and look forward to 2014.”
— Rimsie McConiga