Mendocino County has become legendary in the last few days for a gas station on the coast known as Schlafer’s Autobody and Repair— home to the most expensive gallon of gasoline in the United States.
For those in need of a palette cleanser, consider this: a gas station in Round Valley called the Hidden Oaks Convenience Store, according to GasBuddy.com’s list of the Ten Cheapest Gas Station in California, is in the number two spot for offering the cheapest gallon of gas in the state.
Tina Renee Durham-Want, the manager of the Hidden Oaks Convenience Store, had no idea the price of gas at her establishment is currently the second cheapest in California. “Awww, that’s awesome. Prices keep rising every day,” she said.
Durham-Want told us the business’s goal is to keep gasoline “affordable, yet make money as well.” Durham-Want and the store’s management consider their pricing daily, calculating their costs and prices “to make sure we are still making money.”
Hidden Oaks Convenience Store has actually picked up a cult following. Durham-Want said she gets calls from people all around Mendocino County daily to check in on the prices.
Durham-Want explained that she herself has seen the effects of gas prices rising dramatically. She told us trucking companies she knows “are going under because they can’t afford the diesel to move the big rigs.”
More locally, Durham-Want said the rising cost of gas is causing “causing panic” amongst residents of Round Valley, a community that grappled with poverty long before the recent surge in gas prices.
Durham-Want was aware of Schlafer’s on the coast and their record-setting prices. When asked how it is that her remote gas station could offer prices so dramatically lower than Schlafer’s, she knew that highway transport fees are high and offered that, “maybe it has something to do with the taxes on it. I’m not really sure about that.”
As of 10:00 p.m. Thursday, March 10, only one gas station on GasBuddy had Hidden Oaks’ price of $4.85 for a regular gallon of gas beat— a Shell Station in Lompoc winning by a single cent.
The Golden State’s gas prices are still the highest on average in the nation–Gasbuddy reported the average being $5.71 yesterday evening.
The American Automobile Association’s California County gas price map shows that the average price of gasoline in almost every single county along the North Coast is higher than California’s recorded average except one, interestingly enough, the County of Mendocino.
The California county with the highest average price is Mono, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains along the state’s eastern edge, where residents on average are paying $6.47 per gallon of gas.
Gas prices are continuously shifting, and forecasts suggest the state’s average gallon of gas could rise above $6.00 per gallon in the coming weeks.
As Californians are feeling the squeeze of these prices, many might be asking themselves, “Why can’t I have a Hidden Oaks Convenience Store in my neighborhood.”