The Engen Swartland 1-Stop, located on the N7 outside of Cape Town, celebrated its 20th anniversary on 2 December.
The service station, which started off as “cash only” with an old fashioned ‘ZipZap’ credit card machine, has gone through extensive improvements over the years but has always remained true to its customer centric roots.
“These days we are all about customer convenience which is why our fully integrated system accepts all types of electronic payments. We’ve also increased our staff compliment quite considerably since the early days,” say husband and wife co-owners Elna and Efbé Dippenaar.
“When we started our business 20 years ago, our aim was to hire unskilled people and train them to do their jobs well. Both of us worked in the corporate environment prior to taking over the business but we learnt more running Engen Swartland 1 Stop in just six months than the many years working in our previous careers.”
Setting the tone
The Dippenaars say that the service station’s steady growth over the years and the introduction of innovative payment and convenience offerings, have set the tone. However, even sound businesses encounter challenges.
“Sustaining service excellence is one of the business’ toughest tasks and keeping staff motivated and retaining talent is also a big part of staying ahead. Fortunately, this is something we excel at.”
With us you are Number One
According to the Dippenaars, being part of the Engen brand is a privilege because of what it means to customers. In fact, they say, the Engen brand is so well entrenched that it sells itself and makes it easier for them to run their business, especially with Engen’s ongoing support.
“We offer consistent quality and let the customer always feel that they are Number One. We are especially proud of the number of Engen/Wimpy awards we have won over the past 20 years as well as our involvement in the community of Atlantis where we support a number of schools and a shelter.”
Unfortunately, due to upgrades to the N7 dual carriage road, there has been a decline in the number of customers coming from the North. “But the farmers in the Philadelphia area and our regulars from the Platteland are firm supporters and know we’ll always give them the excellent service they are accustomed too.”
Joe Mahlo, General Manager: Engen Sales & Marketing, extended congratulations to the Engen Swartland 1-Stop. “This is a great milestone and our loyal customers deserve to be thanked for their ongoing support of the Swartland 1-Stop. When our customers visit any Engen forecourt, our promise is to provide great customer service, exciting retail convenience partnerships, and fuels that offer both performance and economy. This is something Engen Swartland 1-Stop offers in abundance,” says Mahlo.
To mark the occasion, the Dippenaars held a special birthday party for 20 kids from the Vaatjie Primary Farm School on 2 December and donated R10 000 to the school. Customers joined in the fun popping balloons with mystery prizes. A DJ helped get the festive mood going, creating a joyous on site vibe.
“We also awarded Ella Lewis, who has been at Engen Swartland 1-Stop from the day we opened our doors twenty years ago with a special service award.
“But ultimately, we want to thank our many loyal customers for their incredible support over the years, some of whom have been coming here for the full 20 years,” added the Dippenaars.
Here’s to the next 20 successful years!