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LPG Spotlight: Kamps Propane

December 23, 2020 By    
Photo courtesy of Kamps Propane

Since its founding in 1969, Kamps Propane has grown to 13 locations across California. Photo courtesy of Kamps Propane

Words like “innovation” and “tradition” may seem mutually exclusive, but Kamps Propane holds the two in tension.

The propane retailer, headquartered in Manteca, California, became an early marketer of renewable propane in early 2020.

Kamps Propane, founded in 1969, now has 13 locations spanning from the Sierra foothills to the Pacific Coast, and from the Sacramento Valley to San Diego. Currently, three of those locations provide renewable propane as an option: Sacramento, Manteca and Hayward, which serves the San Francisco Bay Area.

The decision was prompted by California’s changing energy landscape, with many companies looking to use alternative fuels and clean energy sources in place of diesel and gasoline.

“We know that in order to offer environmentally competitive opportunities for people who like propane as a choice, that offering them a renewable version of propane that has a lower carbon intensity value is an important part of advancing our business in the 21st century,” says Josh Simpson, vice president of marketing at Kamps Propane.

So far, the retailer has received positive feedback from its renewable propane customers, which is oftentimes driven by curiosity about the low-emissions fuel.

Simpson encourages companies to look at their local markets and decide when, and if, the timing is right to offer renewable propane, and to seize the opportunity ahead of time.

“One of the most important things to understand, and I think propane marketers are really good at this, is understanding the marketplace in which you are working, and watching very carefully to see how the marketplace is changing, and changing while the marketplace is changing, instead of after the marketplace changes,” Simpson says.

“The change appears to be happening, whether or not we participate,” he adds. “So my suggestion is that being a part of the change, and in front of it, is probably more advantageous than the other way around.”

While the retailer is at the fore of innovative technologies and developments such as renewable propane, Kamps Propane stays true to the soul of the industry and its founding, prioritizing efforts to make real investments in the communities it serves.

Simpson notes that several employees have spent the majority or entirety of their careers at Kamps Propane, and, as a result, have formed deep relationships with the industry and area.

In addition, Kamps Propane has installed a local manager for each individual operation who is essentially responsible for being the company’s representative on a local level. Those managers become involved in community events and groups such as the local Farm Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or the Rotary Club.

“When you see the depth of the relationships that [employees] have in the communities that we serve, it’s one of the ways in which you can see that the company John Kamps built really has embodied what he started in Manteca,” Simpson says. “We have these little examples of what it means to be genuinely dedicated to the community that you serve that have kind of sprouted up like seedlings as a result of what John Kamps started 50 years ago.”


Kamps Propane

Year founded // 1969
Founder // John Kamps
Owner // John Kamps
Headquarters // Manteca, California
Employees // 250

About the Author:

Carly McFadden is associate editor at LP Gas Magazine. She is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. McFadden can be reached at cmcfadden@northcoastmedia.net.

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