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The History and the Stories of Blossman Founders in a four-part series. Part II
Through a series of acquisitions in the 1960’s and 70’s, Blossman added branch locations throughout Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. The federal government lifted energy controls in 1981 (Regan-era) and Blossman Gas took a leadership role in the propane industry in the Southeast. Blossman ranked in the top 10 propane companies in the US, and the largest independent (family-owned) propane business in the US. John Blossman, Woody’s son, stood at the helm of Blossman during these years of exciting and rapid growth.
Passing the Torch from Woody to John Blossman
John Richard Blossman graduated from Yale University in 1966 and Vanderbilt School of Law in 1969. Upon graduation from law school, he moved back to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and joined his father at Blossman Gas. Under his 40-year leadership, Blossman Gas grew from 14 branches selling 13 million gallons a year to more than 60 branches selling 70 million gallons. He continued to expand the company’s market area to stretch from Southeast Louisiana to the Mid Atlantic.
During these expansion years, John Blossman escalated the company’s commitment to providing excellent service by offering full tank and appliance installations, and by offering propane gas-related products for sale in the branch stores including gas fireplaces, grills, generators, water heaters, cooktops, gas dryers, and space heaters.
In the early 1980’s, the company recognized a need for better, quicker customer information systems and hired an Information Technology manager in 1985. Blossman Gas is recognized as the first multi-state propane marketer to have all of its locations connected with a real-time computerized information management system.
Along with market-leading customer service, independence remained at the heart of Blossman’s success, and continues as a valued part of company culture to this day. This autonomy allows Blossman leadership the agility to build a propane-based business while allocating substantial resources to market innovations, employee education and training, and cutting edge research and development.
Under the guidance of John Blossman, Blossman Gas was one of the first propane marketers to embrace the National Propane Gas Association’s Gas Appliance System Check (GAS Check™), a voluntary inspection program that provides safety inspection guidelines for technicians. In the 1980s, under the leadership of Safety and Training Director Don Singleton, the GAS Check training program at Blossman Gas was expanded and upgraded into what has become the best and most respected safety and training program in the propane industry. The company continues to lead the industry in safety practices and standards: requiring rigorous training and continued education for all Blossman technicians.
During the 1980s, the nation began exploring vehicle fuel alternatives as the gasoline supply seemed to be in jeopardy. Blossman Gas opened conversion shops in Ocean Springs, MS, Theodore, AL, and LaGrange, GA to enable vehicles to run on cleaner burning, economical propane.
Company expansion continued in the states mentioned previously and entered into the states of South Carolina (Greenville) and Florida.
Updated June 2018