OMAK — The fast foodstuff and longtime employees remain unchanged.
But next door to the convenience store at Omak’s Conoco gas station, 414 Hanford St., a new owner bustles in his office, monitoring eight new security cameras and hatching other store improvements.
Omak residents Herman Kataria, 48, and Parminder Kaur, 46, replaced former store owners Richard and Ilene Dykes Nov. 1. The Dykes still own the Conoco gas station, and New York-based GTY Pacific Leasing owns the convenience store building, according to the Okanogan County Assessor.
Kataria and Kaur also operate Motel Nicholas, 527 E. Grape St., in Omak and Ephrata Inn Motel in Ephrata.
“We saw an opportunity and grabbed it,” Kataria said.
The store, formerly Jackpot Foodmart, now calls itself Omak Conoco. It employs six full-time employees and one part-time employee, many of whom have worked there a decade or longer, Kataria said. The new owners have no plans to change the staff, he said.
“We are lucky to have all the employees,” he said. “They know people very well.”
Kataria recently had eight security cameras installed inside the store and around its perimeter. Looking to the future, he would like to expand the parking lot, offer more competitive prices, memorize the names of all repeat customers and generally contribute to the community, he said.
The owners welcome community members’ suggestions, he added. The store can be reached at 509-826-4221.