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Blossman Founders Part I: The Early Years

In commemoration of Blossman Gas' 65th anniversary year, we are providing you, our valued customers, a detailed historical look at our company's history and founders in a three-part series, to be highlighted in upcoming issues of the Blossman BlueNotes.

Woodrow Blossman- the Early Years

Blossman Gas was founded 65 years ago by Woodrow "Woody" Blossman. He had moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast after his brother, who operated a large propane company in Covington, LA, sold his Gulfport and Pascagoula stores to him. "Woody felt like he wanted to develop Woody Blossman Headshotand build customer loyalty," said Bob Mayer, the retired President of Blossman Gas who spent 35 years working for the company in Ocean Springs, MS.

Taken from a historic video made for the company's 60th anniversary in 2011, Blossman said, "My objective was to create the work environment where employees could develop their full potential. I came up with the idea to create a company where everybody could have a sense of belonging, and be part of an organization with a sense of security as well as comfort." 

He started his business with ten employees on the premise that a company should exceed its customer's expectations and that the employees were its most valued asset.

"All of our competitors had money, equipment and everything that we didn't have, but they did not have the people we had. Those 10 that we started out with tipped the ball, and made the company function," added Blossman.  

Woodrow Blossman, shown at a Managers Meeting in Ocean Springs, MSMore than 60 years later, the company has grown to over 700 employees, and remains a family-and-employee owned business that still follows Woodrow's founding philosophy.

In 1969, Woodrow Blossman asked his son, John Blossman, to join the company. He named his son president and stepped aside, keeping the position as chairman of the board. John Blossman retained the young managers his father hired in the mid 1960's, Bob Mayer and Al Allen. The trio made acquisitions throughout the Southeast United States. By the end of the 1990's Blossman Gas was operating 77 branches, an increase of 63 branches since John Blossman took over.

Bob Mayer adds, "Woody Blossman was tough to work for. He was dynamic and had the personality to go with it. I found John Blossman to be a good boss. He would set up the plan, and then get out of the way. Between John, Al and me, we were a good combination." John Blossman continued to emphasize employee contributions to the company, a principle started by his father Woody who died in 1990.        

Thanks to Susan Ruddiman and South Mississippi Living for contributing to this article. "The Blossman Family is a Gas," August, 2013.

Read the full Blossman Founders series:

Part I: The Early Years

Part II: The 1980s

Part III: The 1990s

Part IV: The New Century