The Giacobbis are local boys. Born and raised in Portsmouth, R.I., and educated in local public schools from kindergarten to high school, brothers Joe and Nick Giacobbi kept close to home despite earning degrees in real estate and finance—at state colleges, of course. Their father, George, opened his first c-store in 1976 and named it Patriot Petroleum, after the high school football team.

Today, George, Joe and Nick keep Patriot Petroleum growing and adapting in a business environment that does not tolerate sitting still. In 2018, they opened the company’s second site, which is 5,000 square feet with 10 fueling dispensers, a car wash and a New England Homemade Donuts concept with drive-thru. This July, the family is breaking ground on a third location, in Middletown, R.I.

“Dad knew where the oil industry was going—no more small stations,” Joe Giacobbi says.

Portsmouth is a coastal town of about 17,000, surrounded by farms and 30 minutes away from the closest city. “People go to visit Newport, R.I.—that’s what brings people into the area,” he says.

It’s in this environment, surrounded by big c-store chains such as Cumberland Farms and in the land of Dunkin’, that Patriot Petroleum has found a formula for growth. It has done so by ticking all the boxes for the local Portsmouth community, in a way that belies its size.

“Dad knew where the oil industry was going—no more small stations.”

“The doughnuts, car washes, big clean stores, bathrooms are immaculate. What we’re trying to do here, it epitomizes the gold standard of our industry,” Joe says. “We own two gas stations—and [customers] think we’re a national chain. It’s how we portray ourselves, and what separates us.”