Pecos Propane COO Allegra Pacheco stumbled upon a unique opportunity to serve the film industry a few years ago while networking at a local event.
“I’m always looking online for different events happening and different industries having events,” says Pacheco, who grew up in her family business that’s based in Pecos, New Mexico. “I saw information about a ‘film vendors meeting event,’ and I decided to go and talk to people there.”
Pacheco only expected to make connections to sell propane cylinders to food truck vendors. Yet, the name “Pecos Propane” was passed on to film producers who needed propane for special effects on their sets. Since connecting with the film industry, Pecos Propane has provided fuel and training for a few Netflix productions, including “Longmire” and “The Messengers.”
Business in this area remains steady, as film production companies frequently select New Mexico because of tax incentives available in the state.
“It’s kind of a mecca for people doing film production,” Pacheco says. “A lot of productions will come here because we have a lot of open area. It’s not highly populated, so they can do sets without interruption.”
Education is a key focus at Pecos Propane, which sends its master service technician to film sets to educate special effects crews about propane. Pecos Propane also hosted a few classes on propane safety for people in the film industry, offering a lecture and a hands-on portion for attendees.
“They wanted expertise on propane, so they paid us to put on classes for them,” says Paul Pacheco, owner and CEO of Pecos Propane. “Many of them had no clue as far as the dangers. We had people in the class do leak tests and look at regulators. In a Q&A session, they could ask about anything not covered.”
Pecos Propane provides educational opportunities for its employees, as well. The company conducts quarterly coaching sessions so employees can improve. Pecos Propane even offers to pay for employees to take community college courses or online seminars and webinars that will help them improve their business practices.
“We’re big on education,” Allegra says. “All of us are big on improving our skills. For example, if a service technician wants management courses or lessons on using spreadsheets, we’ll offer that.”
In addition, Pecos Propane makes time to educate legislators on the issues affecting the propane industry, including natural gas expansion. Allegra and Paul are involved in state and national associations to help with propane lobbying efforts.
“We’ve done a lot of lobbying,” Allegra says. “It keeps us in business. If [natural gas expansion] regulations were to pass, a small company like us would be done. Even losing a small percentage of our customer base would be a blow.”
Founder: Fermin Pacheco Sr.
Owners: Paul and Judy Pacheco