Our propane business is just one of the many products and services the Collett family has provided the residents and businesses of Southwestern Ohio for nearly 75 years. Read below to find out how we originally expanded into the propane business, providing cost-effective, energy efficient clean energy and safe energy to homes, businesses, and farms across Southwestern Ohio.
Our mission statement
Since 1952, Collett Propane, Inc., a family owned and operated business has been delivering propane gas throughout Southwestern Ohio. We offer competitive priced propane with safe, dedicated and reliable customer service staff. Collett Propane is committed to improving and enhancing the communities within which we operate.
Collett Hardware Store: The early years
Collett Propane's roots extend back to 1919. That was the year Bob Collett founded Collett Hardware in the small farming community of New Burlington, Ohio. Having just returned from service in World War I, Bob sensed the store would be successful due to its central location between the towns of Xenia and Wilmington; Bob's instincts were right! Customers came from miles around not only out of convenience, but also because of Bob's commitment to service.
People counted on Collett Hardware for its abundant inventory and expert advice. The store was also a popular gathering place where the locals shared news and socialized. This is where Bob's son, Don, spent much of his time growing up. The family store instilled in Don an appreciation for working hard to please customers. Years later, that lesson proved valuable when Don co-founded Collett Propane with his brother Chuck.
The old hardware store and New Burlington are a distant memory now. In 1972, Collett Hardware relocated to Rt. 73 near the intersection of I-71. (The propane business continues to operate there.) Shortly after the move, the Army Corps of Engineers flooded the valley where New Burlington was nestled, creating Caesar Creek Lake and State Park.
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Propane becomes a popular energy source
In 1952, the Ohio highway department closed Rt. 42 for repairs. For a while, traffic was routed through New Burlington past Collett Hardware. A traveling propane distributor noticed the store and stopped in. He chatted with Don who believed that selling propane would be an excellent business move due to the growing popularity of the fuel.
Soon after, Don and his brother Chuck formed a partnership in the propane business, initially offering 100 lb. cylinders. Their first delivery was the day before Thanksgiving, 1952. Propane was generally used in cook stoves back then, replacing kerosene and gasoline because of its safety and cleanliness. Not surprisingly, the Collett brothers' propane business grew steadily with the popularity of the fuel, and as their reputation spread for excellent customer service.
During the 1960s, demand for propane swelled as it replaced coal and fuel oil for home heating. It was also popular on farms for drying grain. In fact, during the late '60s and early '70s, the bulk of propane Collett sold was for grain drying. Over time, residential use again became the majority of Collett's business. Propane's energy efficiency, cost effectiveness, portability and cleanliness were largely responsible for its wide-spread acceptance.
In 1982, Jane Collett (Newton), Don's daughter, joined the company after earning a business degree from Wright State University. Three years later, a second Collett Propane plant and office was established in the Xenia Industrial Park to improve distribution in that region. In 2005 Collett Propane added their third location just south of Lebanon, OH.
Growing to meet the needs of our customers
Today, Collett Propane is a respected, full service propane distributor primarily serving Greene, Clinton and Warren counties. Every year, larger portions of Montgomery, Clark, Fayette, Highland and Madison counties are being serviced by us. The growth of our company is paralleling the expanding population in these rural regions of Southwest Ohio.
As we grow, our dedication to the highest level of professional service remains the same. Currently, Collett Propane has over 7,000 customers. Approximately 80% are residential accounts. The rest are commercial, industrial or agricultural customers. Propane energy is expected to make significant contributions to society in the coming decades.
Already, super high-efficiency propane appliances are available and other applications, like powering trucks and school buses, assure a growing demand for many years to come. As technology changes, we will continue to evolve our operations to match our customer requirements.
Since 1952, our propane operations have remained in the family, despite the industry trend of take-overs and mergers. Truly, we enjoy the personal involvement that our family-owned business offers. We work hard to assure every customer the same high quality, friendly service we've been known for since the very beginning. We promise every customer the highest level of reliability, safety and sensitivity to their needs. It's been that way since 1952 and we don't want to change our formula for success.
Call us today at 937-372-9194 for all of your propane and propane accessories.