RUMFORD — A local gas station owner continued Friday to make waves in the unleaded gas sales market by undercutting his competitors.
A price war that began Monday between Rick Breau, owner of Mountain Valley Variety on Hancock Street and other River Valley gas stations, led Breau to sell at $3.38 a gallon for regular unleaded.
It's the lowest price in Maine, according to the website mainegasprices.com.
"I do what I want," Breau said. "I don't worry about what they do, but they worry what I do and that's always the way it's been, no matter if it's gas or food or anything."
Breau said he dropped his price to $3.59 Monday morning when his competitors were at $3.62.
"So, they dropped theirs to $3.58, a penny cheaper than me, so I left it. But they should have known better than I was just going to be quiet," he said. "So it kind of upset me a little bit. 'You want to match me? OK, you're proving a point with this penny.' So I left it."
But Tuesday night, he called his supplier and asked what the price was going to be.
"I wasn't happy with it, so I told them, 'Look, you've got to do something. I'm trying to put up a row in the town, you know, make some noise,'" Breau said.
His supplier called him back with a lower price, he said. It was enough for Breau to drop his price to $3.38 a gallon. He sells only regular unleaded.
By Wednesday evening, when regular unleaded gas prices were $3.65 in Lewiston and $3.63 in Farmington and Wilton, Mountain Valley Variety was at $3.38 and Breau's competitors were mostly at $3.44.
"So, I'm basically selling it a little above cost," Breau said. "I'm not making too much money. Just enough money to cover my expenses ..."
Breau said it's challenging to make money by selling gas because the gas market changes daily.
“But now with the stock market unrest, that's going to have an effect on the price of gas and everything else,” he said.
His price will likely go lower, he said.
“I can't give a price, but as the tankers roll in, I'll make my little bit of profit," he said. "Sometimes I do break even, but once in a while, I lose money, so it's pretty tough to keep doing that.”
Earlier this summer, Breau was nominated for Rumford Citizen of the Year for driving down the price of unleaded gas in the River Valley area since buying Mountain Valley Variety six years ago in July.