ANSONIA — M&M’s Petrol ‘n Pantry in Ansonia is observing its 20th anniversary today and will be celebrating all week.
Owners Kenny and Marilyn Erwin opened their store on May 1, 1997.
“It was a long process,” said Marilyn. “Even as a child, it was something I always wanted to do. And, Kenny was okay with it.”
Marilyn grew up behind the convenience store.
“We tore the house down after Mom died,” she said.
M&M’s, the couple said, has changed dramatically since they purchased it from Mark King 20 years ago.
“The inside has completely changed,” she said. “We added on in 2005. We first bought the retail coolers, bought out the contents of the former Coppess Grocery Store and added the deli. We started with pizza and jumbo chicken and added on an office.”
Recently, a one-day makeover took place at the store.
The Erwins switched out their gas tanks, put in a new counter, added all new shelving and added a roller grill, sandwich warmer and a new coffee program in that one day.
“It was a big project,” Kenny said. “We also added new cement out front later.”
For their business anniversary week, they are planning some food specials and giveaways.
“For our jumbo chicken and potato wedges, call in and we’ll have it ready for you,” Kenny said.
“On the second Thursday of each month, we will be serving barbecue baby back ribs from 4 p.m. until gone,” Marilyn added.
They also noted that this winter they obtained a liquor license so that customers who have a meal inside can now have a beer while eating their meal inside.
“We decided to accommodate them,” Marilyn said.
M&M’s has 16 employees and is open seven days a week, including some holidays.
Yes, the Erwins became sweethearts in school; Marilyn was in eighth grade when loved started to bloom her and her husband-to-be, who was a year older. She graduated in 1963 from Ansonia High School and he in 1962.
They have been married for 53 years. Marilyn, daughter of the late Andy and Margaret Lyons, and Kenny, son of the late Marvin and Edna Erwin, were wed on March 12, 1964.
The couple has two sons, Mike and Marc, owners of EB Fuel Stop, which is expected to open soon in Greenville. They also co-own Erwin Brothers Trucking in Ansonia.
Mike is married to the former Laurie Doyle and they have three children, Jake and twins Emma and Ava. Marc is a bachelor.
Kenny is treasurer of the Classic Rolling 50s club, the Eagles Lodge and has been on the Boy Scout committee in Ansonia for 20 years. His wife is a member of the Eagles and Moose lodges and has enjoyed dancing in the past. Together, they love to play cards and do some traveling.
After high school, Marilyn worked as an aide at Ansonia schools for 10 years and then worked at the Council on Rural Services in Greenville for 20 years before retiring. After her retirement, she went to work for the family business in 2006 and is working full-time.
Kenny worked for Stolle’s in Sidney for a year after high school and then worked at Ansonia Lumber Co. for four or five years before opening K&M’s Automotive Repair. He even bought Lorton’s across the street from M&M’s and ran both at the same time in the 1980s.
“We’re glad we did it,” Marilyn said. “We’ve enjoyed it. We enjoy coming in and seeing the people. We have a lot of loyal customers. Stop in and see us this week and say ‘hello’.”
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