Colby & Gale's new satellite office in Boothbay has presented the company's general manager Troy Sawyer with a new experience. In his 32 years with the company, Sawyer had only spoken with many of his Boothbay peninsula customers by phone.
“The response has been great. The new office gives us a better presence in the area. People have been in and out of the office paying bills, setting up services and asking questions,” he said. “It’s been great finally meeting a lot of old customers and meeting some new ones, too.”
In February, Colby & Gale renovated a former home at 654 Wiscasset Road and installed a 500- to 1,000-gallon propane tank. Tank refills for consumers will likely begin in mid-September, according to Sawyer. But there is still plenty for the three-person office staff to do. So far, a steady stream of old and potential new customers visit daily.
“People are coming in with pictures of their heating systems so they have a better sense of letting us know what’s going on. I think it’s allowing us to provide better and friendlier service,” he said.
Colby & Gale began in 1933 as Etheridge Oil, a small oil company. In 1944, Charlie Gale and Ken Colby joined the company, and two years later they bought the business. In 1947, the business expanded into fuel oil and bottle gas services. In 1957, Colby sold his share to Gale, who ran the business until 1961. The business has had several owners over the past five decades.
Matt Poole and Deric Verney own it now. The business sells home heating oil, propane and kerosene and provides heating unit services.