Local Businesses and COVID-19: New Canaan Mobil


For today’s Q&A with a local business, we talk to Maria Kean of New Canaan Mobil.

Here’s our interview.

New Canaanite: These restrictions have changed people’s travel and other habits somewhat. How are you faring here?

Maria and Art Kean Jr. of New Canaan Mobil. Credit: Michael Dinan

Maria Kean: Gas is obviously down, because no one is traveling. But we’ve amped up our cleaning products and toilet paper. Paper towels. We go wherever we have to go to pick it up. It’s kind of crazy … [W]e are super busy with the balloons. People come in here to shop, too. We don’t have ‘groceries groceries’—but frozen foods, propane, snacks, things like that. Milk, eggs. 

So this was my next question for you. If gas is down, what are you selling most here?

Balloons, lottery—people are gambling, I don’t know where they think they’re going to go if they win this money, because you can’t escape this. Propane, because everybody is cooking at home. Masks, gloves, cleaning products. Tobacco is huge. People are smoking and chewing tobacco. Cigars. Everything is selling like crazy. 

In terms of the social distancing requirements and wearing masks inside. What is the compliance level like?

A lot of kids—and what I mean by ‘kids’ is new driers, 16 or 17 years old—are coming in without masks. And the older people are verbally attacking them in the store. ‘You don’t have a mask on? This virus is not stopping.’ So there’s been some arguments in here. We have masks on the counter for sale, the disposal ones. Or sometimes I’ll just hand them out so the confrontation stops right there. But we do recommend masks in the store. 

What’s your message for regular New Canaan Mobil customers?

We are here for whatever you need. We do deliveries for older customers who call us. My brother has been doing deliveries around the clock. They pay over the phone. We just drop it [off] and go. So whatever anybody needs, we are here.

New Canaan Mobil can be reached at 203-966-5004.

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