May 14, 2019
Acme Fuel is proud to be the Lacey South Sound Chamber’s business of the month for May!
May 1, 2019
Hello everyone! This will be the last newsletter until fall. I only have a few things this month.
First of all, we had a successful Home Show! We saw lots of our existing customers and gained/will gain plenty of new ones. Thanks to all who stopped by to say hello.
Summer is our time here at Acme to slow down a bit, take our vacations, etc. This summer is very welcome!
After the February Snowmageddon and persistent cold weather, we are ready for a break! Due to this cold weather, everyone used more propane and heating oil than “normal”. We have had lots of calls from people shocked at how low their tanks are; don’t worry, this is normal. Fuel usage for heating is not constant at all. It fluctuates (sometimes greatly) from year to year based on the weather. Also, if you have a heat pump with propane back up furnace, you definitely used more. Most heat pumps switch to their back up mode when the temperature drops below 30-40 degrees.
If you are on automatic refill, and you either add or remove a propane appliance, please let us know so we can adjust your delivery accordingly.
Fast Fuel customers….if you want to “go green” and save money, sign up for email statements and ACH payment from your bank. It saves time, paper, postage, and we will give you a 5 cent per gallon discount on your fuel purchases. Call the office for details.
Propane/heating oil customers…you too can sign up for email statements. And you too will then always receive your 5 cent per gallon prompt pay discount!
Finally, remember we have ethanol free gas for your yard equipment, boats, etc. We are open 24/7 with either our Fast Fuel card (best pricing) or with a Visa or Master Card.
That’s it till fall!
Have a great Summer!
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April 1, 2019
Spring has sprung! Last month we saw some beautiful weather with temperatures in the 70’s (well -deserved after February) and with that, the grass started growing. Make sure you come to one of our Fast Fuel stations to get Non-Ethanol Gasoline for your mowers or other lawn equipment. The warmer weather also means BBQ season, and we can fill your BBQ tank at our office in Downtown Olympia.
Did you know that Acme Fuel is one of the oldest businesses in Olympia? We are proud to say that we are not only locally owned, but we are a 3rd Generation Family owned business! Most of the propane companies in the area are huge, nationally owned companies. Even ones that used to be local are now owned by “the big guys”. With that, they often do “bait and switch” pricing. Meaning, new customers or call in customers get a “special price”, and loyal customers pay through the nose. At Acme, our loyal customers are who we value; so we always give fair and equal pricing to all.
Come see us at the Home Show April 27-28 at St. Martin’s, open 10-5 each day. We’ve been a participant in this event since it was in the old South Sound Shopping Center! We love seeing our existing customers and gaining new ones too!
Last, but not least, if you like doing business with Acme, we encourage you to give us a 5 Star Google review! For everyone who gives us a 5 Star review, we will enter you into a monthly drawing (from April through August) for a $50 dollar credit to your account. Please only 1 entry per person. If your name is not drawn, it will roll over to the next month. If you give a review, email us a screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure you are entered into the drawing.
That’s it for this month. We truly appreciate our customers!
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March 1, 2019
Hello again. I must start off by apologizing; it was probably my fault we had “Snowmageddon”. I usually type these newsletters in the 2nd to 3rd week of the month prior so we have time to edit and get them to our printer. My first paragraph last month suggested that winter was most likely “over”. I follow weather closely and it has always been an interest of mine. When I typed last month’s letter around January 20th or so, there was NOTHING showing up in the long range forecasts for what we just went through…so I apologize for jinxing it! J
That being said, we hope you all were able to make it through without any major issues. The snowy weather is one major reason we urge customers to be on Auto Fill. When things get crazy like that, our #1 priority is to try and get to our Auto Fill customers. Our next priority is customers who are “regular” Will Call customers – those who want to call for fuel, but only buy from us. The 3rd level of priority is customers new to us. They have been with another company, and when things are normal, they see no need to switch; but when the going gets tough, Companies X, Y, and Z can’t or won’t come fill them. We do our best to take care of these folks as well, because we know they will become loyal customers. Our lowest priority is the “price shoppers”. They only buy from us if we are the absolute lowest price. These folks are generally the lowest priority for ALL companies because they have no loyalty. It is easy to price shop when the weather is “normal”, but when it gets cold and we have lots of snow, this is not a good position to be in.
Here at Acme, we strive to always offer competitive prices, with the BEST service of anyone. Even though we work our tails off when it gets like this, and we get exhausted, we cherish these opportunities because it is great “advertising” for us…we take care of our customers! While many places need or choose to close, we step up; this is our time to shine! So, if you were taken care of by Acme, please tell a friend; referrals are the best advertising!
Besides being extremely busy delivering propane and heating oil, our Fast Fuel gas stations had a run on gas, particularly non-ethanol gas. When we saw the storms coming, we filled our tanks, but we literally ran out of fuel. Then with the snow, it was difficult to get reloads coming. We finally did and got back to normal. If you tried fueling and we were out, we apologize. We did the absolute best we could in the circumstance.
As with any extreme event, there are things we can learn from it; so we will be looking at what we can do both business wise and personally to be more prepared. One thing I would suggest is to have fuel for generators filled up before winter hits. This helps prevent the “rush” and the possibility of being out.
Also, it is important to understand that we have literally thousands of customers. While we do our best to take care of every single one, when things get crazy, we must triage. That is, assess which tanks need to be filled first. So if you called and had 30+%, we probably bumped you down the list a bit so we could get to others that were lower still. If we make a special trip for someone who could go several more days, that could risk someone else running out. In addition, our drivers must triage. They must assess if they can get into, and more importantly, out of a driveway. If they take an unnecessary risk and get stuck or worse yet, wreck a truck, that can jeopardize our other customers from getting filled.
Well, this newsletter has been far too long; but we had so much to discuss! I hope this helps you all understand a bit more how we operate. If you have more questions or want more information, feel free to give me a call…360-943-1133.
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February 1, 2019
February….I can’t believe I just typed that! Here in Western Washington, February is generally the last month of “winter”. Sure we can get a skiff of snow here and there in March or even April, but nothing major. As I type this, there doesn’t appear to be any really cold weather on the horizon. The Midwest and East Coast are getting that. So, we will probably escape this winter (a mild El Nino), without any significant snow. That may please some and make others boo! It is what it is….
That being said, we have had a few wind storms. So, if you lost power during any of those and you have a propane generator, please check the level in your tank. While we can track Heating Degree Days for your heating and hot water usage, we don’t know who has lost power.
Piggy backing on the above, we do have an option of putting a fuel monitor on your tank. It sends us your fuel level in real time. These are great for folks who are either heavy users, inconsistent users (generators, vacation home, etc.), or situations where you absolutely can’t run out of fuel. Give us a call for more information.
Well for me, February is usually the month I have to start mowing my grass. So make sure you are prepared with non-ethanol fuel from one of our Fast Fuel stations! It is the ONLY type of gas you should use in your lawn mower, weed eater, hedge trimmer, etc.
Finally, Fast Fuel Customers….Do you need a year end fuel summary for tax purposes? If so, contact Allison here in our office and she can prepare one for you. Her email is email@example.com.
That’s it for this month!
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December 8, 2018
Acme Fuel is more than a historic building on State Avenue in Olympia. There are historic treasures inside the building too, namely, the Allen family, who have steadily built Acme Fuel with some old-fashioned guiding principles, generation by generation.
“I have just been very blessed, really.” says Tom, “We started off selling wood, then coal, then oil and then transitioned to propane. All with the same attitude – treat your customer right.” This philosophy is at the core of everything the Allen family has done over the past several decades, starting with Tom Allen Sr. He bought Acme back in 1940 as an employee of the company and began growing the business into what we see today.On a recent cold afternoon, I had the pleasure of meeting Owner, Tom Allen Jr., his son Co-Owner and President, Christophe Allen and General Manager, Todd Deck.
“He was just a great guy,” says Tom of his late father. “A typical, small town business man and he did things well. He was from an old Olympia family, they had been in business for years, timber, even oysters – the Tyee Oyster Company. He was old fashioned and he kept his word,” Tom recalls.
A Legacy to Live Up To
Christophe is co-owner and President of Acme Fuel and has been working at the family business for the past 23 years. “He has done a better job than I have.” says Tom of his son. “He is better at administration and organization. And, Christophe still has the same feelings about how to take care of customers. “A lot of people say they have 24/7 service,” says Christophe, “but what they mean is that it goes to an answering service. We really do have 24/7 service”. “A couple of years ago on the day before Thanksgiving” Todd recalls, “we were getting ready to close. We received a phone call from a new customer, “I have 25 people coming over for dinner and we just ran out of propane.” Our driver was getting ready to go home and I looked at him and he said ‘okay.’ He drove out to Yelm to fill her propane tank so she could cook her turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” Another exceptional Acme Fuel driver doing the right thing. For the record, when pressed, these stories come up again and again from Christophe and Todd. The difference is that those phone calls are not coming from current Acme Fuel customers. Inevitably, these are customers are with other companies that just aren’t providing that same level of service that Acme is happy to take care of.Tom Jr. took over the family business after Tom Sr. became involved in politics in 1965, first as Finance Commissioner and then eight years as Olympia’s Mayor from 1968 – 1976. Tom Jr. stepped up to the challenge, anticipating and fulfilling the fuel needs for the community the past 50 years. Tom Jr. opened the two Fast Fuel gas stations Acme currently operates and 22 years ago Acme started delivering propane and continues to deliver heating oil.
Regardless of the type of fuel the community needs, it is in the delivery and customer service that Acme shines.
Taking Care of People – It Starts with Employees
“Christophe and Tom are awesome to their employees,” says Todd, “and they treat them fairly, giving whatever is needed. Family comes first, we make sure to provide the time needed for our employees.” Todd has been working with Acme Fuel for over 10 years which, by Acme Fuel standards, makes him a bit of a newbie.
“Cullen and I started on the same day 23 years ago,” recalls Christophe, “and Cullen’s Dad Don J. was a driver with us for 30 or so years.” Christophe and Todd begin fondly recalling those that have retired, “We had Dave for 35, Mary was here for 30 plus years, Don L. 30 years, Teresa was here for close to 20 years, Butch for 25.” They shake their heads in wonder. Though quite a few of the old guard have recently retired, many of the current staff seem ready to match their tenure. Todd starts ticking off names on his fingers, “Cullen has been here 23 years, let’s see Lonny is 11 years, Mike is 12 years and Jason 15. It just kind of continues. And now my son Jonny has been here for 3 years with us.” You can feel the pride these two men share in the dependability of their co-workers.
“If you take care of people,” says Christophe, “they will stick with you.”
Todd nods in agreement. “We hear from so many customers that we have such great employees,” Todd adds. “It comes down to Tom and Christophe, they take care of you and they are awesome to work for, and it is not just me saying it, every employee here says it.”
With a track record like theirs, the Allen family and Acme Fuel are sure to be around for a while, treating people respectfully and helping out however they can. Call it old-fashioned if you want, some things are just better that way.
You can visit their community involvement page to learn about the many foundations and organizations benefitting from Acme Fuel’s services and contributions.
Article courtesy of Meagan Murphy Ross at Thurston Talk | Click here to view the article on their website!
December 5, 2018
Happy Holidays! The year continues to fly by! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As I write this, it was another very frosty morning in the 20’s….Brrr! We’ve been busy filling up propane and heating oil tanks. If you are not on Automatic Refill, you should really consider it. There is no extra cost for this service, you always get first priority on refills, and if you have an emergency or overtime delivery, there is no extra cost! If you are on will call and need an overtime or emergency fill, there are extra fees involved. So, it is definitely worth considering!
Another thing to consider is receiving email statements and/or ACH billing. Again, there is no extra cost for this, in fact you save money. If you sign up for both email and ACH, not only are you saving paper, you always get the 5 cents per gallon discount. So it is a win-win!
We recently did a complete update of our website. If you haven’t yet seen it, check it out!
There is lots of great information and a cool video as well. Just go to www.acmefuel.com. If for some reason it still looks like the old site, you just need to clear the cache in your web browser.
Lastly, check out the back of this newsletter for a promotion from our partners at Capital Heating and Cooling!
That’s it for this month. Have a wonderful holiday season!
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