WATCH: It was the end of an era in Crofton Monday where after 45 years of running the Crofton Gas station, owner Geoff Hopps decided to hang up the hoses for good and retire. Skye Ryan reports.
By the send-off of hugs and warm wishes Geoff Hopps was getting at his Crofton gas station on Monday, you might think he’d once been a mayor of the town.
“I’m almost tearing up we’re gonna miss you so much,” said Crofton resident Robert DeJong. “You’ve been such a part of the community.”
The nearly 72-year-old provided honest service with a smile for 45 years and there is nothing common about doing that as well as he has.
“Well he’s been around forever right,” said customer Mike Bonsall.
“You can always come here and get your car fixed.”
“Sad to see him go. But he’s gonna be happy right,” said another customer.
“So it will be an end of an era for Crofton,” said Hopps.
Hopps spent $6,000 to buy the gas station back in 1972. Back then, you could buy regular gas for just 12 cents a litre.
“And I thought well this will be good for a while,” said Hopps. “I never thought it would last 45-and-a-half years.”
The gas station offered many Crofton teenagers their first job through the years and was a stable in the community.
“The response from people, the cards, the hugs, the ladies coming in crying wondering what they’re gonna do, yeah that’s been very emotional,” said Hopps.
“I’ll feel it myself when I’m home by myself,” said longtime gas station employee Debra Wolf.
Yet after lights go out Monday night, Hopps won’t be leaving empty-handed. A stray cat that moved into Hopps gas station 16 years ago will be coming home with him to enjoy a well-earned retirement. It’s where the tabby is sure to recognize many formers customers that have now become lifelong friends.