NECSEMA Honors Fresh Village C-Store As “One of the Best”

The regional association released its 2023 awards.

January 08, 2024

The New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association (NECSEMA) released its 2023 Store Operator of the Year Awards, and topping the list is Peter Diarbakerly, owner and operator of Fresh Village in Massachusetts. He won the NECSEMA award for top convenience store owner/operator.

"Peter represents the best of our industry and we’re proud to recognize him and his team for their efforts in delivering top-quality service and value to the Marlborough-area community,” NECSEMA Executive Director Peter Brennan said in a statement. “While convenience stores remain the go-to locations for gas, lottery, snacks and other staples, many, including Fresh Village, have taken innovative steps to deliver high-quality, healthy prepared meals and groceries and have expanded locally sourced food options in many communities.”

In an interview with MetroWest Daily News, Diarbakerly said, "Our philosophy is that we are part of the community. We have to be open during rainstorms, nor'easters, people rely on us to have essentials such as gas, but more and more everyday products. People throw their trash out at our stations; people know that we have a clean bathroom and know we will have the right products. There is no one in any other industry that provides such a great service for the community."

"When they called me, at first I was wondering why I won the award, I had nothing to do with it!" Diarbakerly said during the interview. "But hey, we were judged by our peers, it's obviously a fantastic achievement for everyone, to be able to do this. It's a direct reflection of our staff."

Diarbakerly has worked hard to bring Fresh Village to life, along with the help of his staff, reported the MetroWest Daily News. In 2012, the location was home to the Bolton Street Service station, which suffered a severe gasoline spill.

Following a lengthy approval process and an estimated $2.5 million investment (split between the government and his own efforts), Diarbakerly was able to open Fresh Village and the Sunoco station in 2022.

Diarbakerly credits the store with his staff, as well as all those who help make the store efficient, ranging from vendors to the trash company that empties his trash bin.

"It's all about the teamit's not really about what I do, it's about what everyone else does," Diarbakerly said to MetroWest Daily News. "Between our site manager, all the team members that run the day-to-day operations, it's giving them the tools to do that task."