Bluhm's Gas Sales Hosts Open House
By Rick Hiduk
Since it was founded in Laceyville by Al Bluhm in 1965, Bluhm’s Gas Sales quickly evolved from a garage-based business behind the family’s home to an office on Main Street in Laceyville by 1969. As the business grew to serve customers in seven counties, it developed a solid reputation among its client base, but it lacked the visibility needed to bring its products to the mainstream.
“Nobody knew where we were in Laceyville,” recalled Bluhm’s manager Greg Smith, who works closely with Adam, Anne Marie and Keith Bluhm at the company’s new location on Route 6, just east of Wyalusing. “Now, we’re right on the highway, where the traffic has increased dramatically.”
The consolidation, which began last year and included the construction of a new showroom and office suites, has also allowed to company to pull its sales and services divisions together. Bluhm’s bulk trucks and storage tanks had long been located at the site, and employees previously moved back and forth between the Laceyville and Wyalusing Township locations on a regular basis.
Smith describes the operation as a full-service propane company with the ability to guide customers from purchase and installation through maintenance and ongoing supply of fuel. Bluhm’s client list includes both retail and commercial customers, and the company has forged business relationships with gas companies operating in the area, offering them, among other services, temporary heating mechanisms in the winter months to prevent frack water from freezing.
Since Bluhm’s opened the Route 6 building last November, Smith noted, “Our walk-in business has increased dramatically.” A grand opening had been in the works from the start, but holidays, a rough winter, and a litany of smaller issues followed by the flood kept pushing the event farther away.
The delay gave the company time to fine tune its operations and revamp its marketing strategies. On Sept. 23, company officials and Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce members conducted a ribbon cutting to kick off a two-day open house that featured significant discounts on both products and services, as well as free lunch cooked on a grill that was eventually awarded to Bill Bohensky of Dushore, as were additional door prizes.
Ed and Brenda Dawe of Sugar Run won free gas for a year. One-time free tank refills were awarded to Alison Reaves of Meshoppen; Felix Dziuba, Lorraine Brewer, and Donald Hillard of Laceyville, and Robert Morris of Sugar Run.
Primarily, the event provided Bluhm’s with an opportunity to showcase its line of Regency propane-fired fireplaces and heating units, which Smith claims offers the most realistic flames of any units he has seen.
The company is staffed by seven full-time employees and one part-time employee. Smith related that Bluhm’s will soon pave its lot and construct additional storage space. In the meantime, he noted, the managers and employees enjoy working with their satisfied customers with the belief that they are providing “the most personalized service in the industry.”
Chamber member Carol Goodman said, “The chamber is delighted that Bluhm’s was able to expand its business into the Wyalusing area, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”