For more than half-a-century, Norlund Oil in Emo has been a source of bulk and retail fuel for customers across the district.
Ownership has changed since the Elmer Norlund family sold the business in the early 1990s, but Paul Koomans, the current owner, understands well the tradition of good service associated with the enterprise.
Moreover, now as an authorized distributor for Petro-Canada, “Canada’s Gas Station,” Koomans has to adhere to additional standards of product quality and customer service.
“We aim to give top shelf service with a smile,” he added. “The phrases, ‘Prompt and friendly’ and ‘We will go the extra mile to help you,’ are not just slogans for us.”
The nature of Koomans’ business is to provide a range of products while always paying attention to the small, yet crucial, factors of customer service.
He employs four full-time staff and, during busy periods, a handful of summer students. All receive the same level of orientation and training.
At his prominent location on Highway 11/71 on the western edge of Emo, Koomans is able to operate as a “full-service” source of fuel and oil, and as a car and light truck tire shop.
“People stop to buy gas, snacks, or just to ask directions,” he said. “We always try to point them in the right direction.”
He also has the bulk fuel delivery service—serving mostly the agricultural, logging, and home heating sectors—and 24-hour key-lock fuel pumps. The latter mostly are used by logging truck operators.
Koomans will deliver fuel to any road-accessible point in the district south of Sioux Narrows.
Koomans grew in Ottawa and met his wife while going to university. She hails from Emo. In 1998, they decided to settle permanently in her home town.
“This is the best place in Canada to raise a family,” he said.