Gulf Retail’s recent signing of the three million-litre Taverham Filling Station near Norwich, moves the company closer to reaching its goal of 200 active sites - it currently has 190.

Zep and Trudi Ciarla own the site and made the switch to Gulf after years with Jet. "We had been with Jet for over 20 years and the brand’s historic association with the site meant that when we changed over many of our regulars initially thought we had moved on," explained Trudi. "We then had a set-back when a chip-pan fire in an adjacent building meant we had to close for 10 days. You could say it was an awkward start to our relationship with Gulf. But since re-opening things are just getting better and better. Deliveries are on time, sales are up and the new image has boosted the appearance of the site."

Meanwhile Bob Collins, owner of the McCreadies service station in Layermarney, Essex, is delighted that he made the move from Q8 to Gulf earlier this year.

"When Q8 was withdrawing from the area, it spurred me into looking for a better deal. I had heard that Gulf offered a good package to the independent and I can safely say that it was the best decision I could have made. As a small site you tend to feel insignificant when dealing with the large fuel suppliers, but whenever I call Gulf they know immediately who I am."

Although McCreadies does only 11,000 litres a week, it is an integral part of the community with locals relying on it for fuel and groceries.