We opened our doors with a simple mission statement. Provide the customers we serve with better value, and pricing, on propane and heating oil. By operating our business in a manner that is honest and transparent we will build a rapport with our customers, ensuring continued business long into the future. We will strive every day to exceed our customer’s expectations, and demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism and reliability in the industry.During our first year of operation we built 3 propane bulk storage facilities to serve customers who were looking for better value and pricing for their energy needs. At our main office in Superior, WI, we installed three 30,000 gallon propane tanks. After the construction was completed, we then built a single 30,000 gallon propane tank in Grand Marais, MN, to serve customers on the North Shore. By the fall of 2006 we completed construction on another 30,000 gallon plant, which was located in Two Harbors, MN. During the first year of business we quickly began growing our customer base in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In the fall of 2006 we purchased a small heating oil company located in Carlton, MN. Through the acquisition we gained new heating oil customers, as well as some great new members to the Superior Fuel team.
During the summer of 2007 we built our fourth bulk storage facility in Carlton, MN which allowed us to now serve customers all the way down to Askov/Finlayson.
In the fall of 2008 we began service to the eastern Iron Range. With the installation of our 18,000 gallon storage tank we were now able to provide propane to customers in Ely and surrounding areas.
By 2009 our rate of growth was faster than we had anticipated. We had to purchase 2 new delivery trucks to serve our continually expanding customer base. By the fall we had 6 propane delivery trucks on the road. During the summer of 2009 the decision was made to expand our service area. We began construction on a 30,000 gallon bulk plant in Barnes, WI to better serve our customers in northwestern WI. By early fall the plant was up and operating. At the same time we were also building a 30,000 gallon bulk plant in Britt, MN. By the fall of 2009 we were proudly serving the entire Iron Range.
In 2010, after completing a review of our efficiencies, we made the decision to build our eighth bulk plant just north of Duluth. With the completion of the Rice Lake Rd plant we could now more efficiently serve a growing customer base.
By 2011 our propane volumes were exceeding our transport department’s capacities, so the decision was made to sell our old propane transport trailer and buy a new one. The new, lighter, trailer allowed our transports to haul more propane on each load to our bulk plants. We also purchased another tractor and trailer to support our growing transport department.
2012 was the year of technology. During the year we moved our back office system to a new operating platform that allowed us to really capitalize on our efficiencies. From truck dispatch and routing to customer service management, we were situated to be able to continue growing our customer base with greater ease. We also launched our new website with our customer portal that enabled customers to place orders, pay bills, and check account balances.
In 2013 we completed two major projects by relocating two bulk plants. Our Carlton, MN plant was dismantled and moved from the property that we had leased to our newly purchased property in Esko, MN. We also moved the smaller 18,000 gallon storage tank out of Ely, MN and constructed a new 30,000 gallon bulk plant in Babbitt, MN.During the year we also purchased two new 5,000 gallon propane delivery trucks that allowed us to greatly increase our delivery truck efficiencies, and a second propane transport trailer that allowed us to secure supply from other locations during the propane shortage.
2014 was a very busy year for our company. During the supply crisis and skyrocketing prices of the 2013/2014 winter, we delivered the gas our customers needed and honored all of our pricing agreements. With many of our competitors unable to deliver, and not honoring their price agreements word traveled fast. Almost one thousand customers made the switch to Superior Fuel in 2014.
With the increasing growth of our customer base in 2014 and 2015 we were out growing our office in Superior. During the summer we purchased a new facility in Minnesota, just over the bridge in Duluth. The new site allowed us to bring on additional staff to provide our growing customer base with the support and care they deserve. During the year we also purchased Hedlund Gas, which was located in Spooner and Siren, Wisconsin. The acquisition expanded our foot print further south in Wisconsin. We also completed construction of our new plant in Askov, Minnesota. The new bulk plant will allow us to better serve our customers in our southern MN territory, and grow in the market also.
Superior Fuel Company continues to grow at a rapid rate! In 2016, we invested in the Iron Range by completing the construction of a bulk storage facility near Hibbing, Minnesota. We built the facility to provide better service to the region, and so that cost-conscious customers on the Iron Range have a convenient, reasonably priced propane option.
“We strive to exceed customer expectations. We are open and honest with our customers, and work extremely hard to provide them with a better value and price on propane and heating oil,” said Ryan Gunderson, president of Superior Fuel Company. “With this new bulk plant, we’ll be able to enhance our reliability, proactively manage tank levels for our customers, and provide faster deliveries. That’s extremely important to me, as I was born and raised in Hibbing.”