by Amy Young
Special to the Sentinel
Anthony DiMino cut the ribbon Monday morning for the grand opening of Tops Xpress at 845 Cayuga St., in the Village of Lewiston. In attendance was DiMino's family, as well as Lewiston officials. Mayor Terry Collesano, government leaders and members of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce were present as DiMino announced the opening of the fuel and convenience station.
"Everything worked out," said a happy DiMino. "We are happy to be open. It took a while. We were thinking about this location for two years, and with perseverance we got it accomplished."
In his opening speech, DiMino again stated the importance of keeping Lewiston residents happy. Keeping business in Lewiston rather than having customers going up the hill and out of the village was the trigger to DiMino purchasing and renovating the gas station, formerly known as Crown Mart.
The refurbished gas station has shining floors that have been refinished and evened out, along with a new roof, giving the convenience store a fresh new look.
DiMino feels the convenience market is totally different than what it used to be. "People need to come in and see for themselves," he said.
About a month away from his store obtaining a license from the Liquor Authority, DiMino has everything from "ice cream to propane," he said. Much like the store itself, which needs to be seen by the eyes of the customers themselves, is the Tim Hortons. Unlike the Tim Hortons located inside Tops Market on Center Street, the Tops Xpress will brew its coffee rather than having a coffee machine fill by cup.
Throughout the morning, loyal Tops customers came by the station. DiMino and his team greeted each customer. Cars drove by, slowing down, inquisitive about the newly up and running business and, at one point, all four fueling ports were occupied.
Customers overall were pleased with the opening.
Village resident Ray London said, "It's a great deal." His wife does a majority of the shopping, so he didn't realize that the opening was Monday. London was pleased to redeem his Tops rewards points.
Mary Polka, also one of the first patrons Monday morning, was very excited about the opening and the convenience the new station offers to village residents.
As a service to customers, Tops Xpress will offer full-service gas pumping every Tuesday, free of charge.
On Monday, Tops Xpress offered the lowest gas prices in the village, at $3.68 per gallon. By redeeming Tops Bonus Card reward points, customers can save up to an additional 50 cents per gallon.
Tops Xpress is open daily, from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.