(Rod's Esso/Facebook)

(Rod’s Esso/Facebook)

When Rod Boynton opened his Innisfil, Ontario, gas station in 1995, he wasn’t sure he’d be celebrating a 20th anniversary in 2015.

Rod’s Esso got off to a rocky start financially, losing money each month to the point where it nearly shut down just three months into the endeavor.

But through price adjustments, several additions to the business and a bit of luck, Esso and his wife managed to turn their company into a thriving station, the duo tells the Innisfil Journal.

“It’s all about building relationships with people,” Boynton said.

They added a car wash to the gas station years ago and a lube shop. Later, they started serving coffee and donuts to boot. Over the past 20 years, they’ve employed more than 200 people, many of them students.

On May 16, they’ll celebrate their two-decade milestone by giving away free car washes with any purchase and grilling up some food for anyone who stops by. Some local businesses are also chipping in with giveaways.

Find out more about their event by reading the full story here.