After talking with Haslett Marathon Owner Matt Lentz, I got the impersonation that he was a community-first-minded kind of guy.
On a day where he was selling gas at-cost, giving away gift cards and food, Lentz never dropped a smile from his face (except when he was telling me about the canopy collapse accident).
While I was shooting my story, I was asking customers what they enjoyed most about the Marathon station located on Haslett Road. They didn’t say the prices, although they are competitive with other stations. No, I was hearing statements about what kind of business is run by Lentz.
He runs it for the customers, according to one man I spoke to. He told me about how he ended up with his blue pick-up. It started with him asking Lentz to take a look at a few cars he was thinking about purchasing, and Lentz gave him a thorough review, enough to satisfy a decision out of the man.
Another woman I talked to said her decision to support Lentz’s business is purely local. She also runs a local business and said she can understand the difficulties of facing large-scale corporations. And while, Lentz’s business has the name of a nationally-known business, it is run under his watch. He receives gas from Marathon, but for the most part he chooses which prices to sell at, and which services to offer customers.
With money going right back to the community, the woman said she will gladly swing by Haslett Marathon than drive to a nationally-owned station.
Because Lentz has had an influx of customers that recognize the importance of a locally owned business, he says thank you by providing an annual customer appreciation day.
Tangent to the good customer service, you won’t find a happier person to be in business than a local resident, who is a neighbor to many of his own customers.