In your haste to pump fuel, grab must-haves, and get back on the road, you may not give much thought to the proprietors at the gas station. However, the things you share in common may surprise you.
Gurdev Singh owns and operates South Park 76 Gas according to his values. Fortunately for customers, his values are what keep the prices low and the service friendly. His surname Singh means lion, a religious name taken by Sikh men. Sikh is a word for learner or student, and like all Sikhs Gurdev is a life-long student. “I graduated college in 1981 and came to the US in 1982 with friends. We were in search of opportunities for a better life,” says Gurdev. “I had studied geography, and Alaska was always in my mind for some reason. We all agreed to drive up from California to go see Oregon, Washington and Alaska.” Gurdev worked at a salmon cannery in Alaska until he married. “My wife lasted one winter,” he laughs, “but the second year it snowed four feet at the start of the season, and she cried.” Today the couple lives in Burien where they’ve raised two children, “Our son is now 23 studying business administration, and our daughter just completed her first year of college.”
An honest day’s work is important to Gurdev, but material wealth is not his goal. The South Park 76 Gas business supports his family and their education. He lives according to the principles of the Sikj religion, “If I only need 33-35% margin to sustain my business, I don’t mark up prices further just to increase my profits,” he says, “I’m not greedy.” Gurdev explains that Sikhs follow three important life principles: hard work, smart giving, and mindful prayer. “You must use the ten fingers you’re given,” says Gurdev, “and one-tenth of all earnings must go to a good cause. But,” he adds, “when you give, you must be smart about it.” For Gurdev, careful consideration is a virtue and a responsibility. “We have a brain, and we must use it to decide between good and bad.”
Fortunately, you can also use your brain for other handy stuff, like spotting a good bargain. Stop by for quick fuel and food from the friendly, hard-working folks at South Park 76 Gas.