Texas operation finds success with generator sales

February 2, 2018 By    

Texas Star Propane team members present a check to the Lone Survivor Foundation. Photo courtesy of Texas Star Propane

Continued self-investment and a pride in customer service have served Texas Star Propane well in the 10 short years since its founding.

Founders and owners Joel Sopchak and Joshua Kasprzak started Texas Star Propane in 2009. For Sopchak, it was a continuation of a long family history in the industry.

His grandfather, Albert P. Stennett Jr., started working at Butex Gas in Houston in 1944, after returning home from serving in World War II. Stennett Jr. then went on to start his own family-oriented gas company, something that has resonated with Texas Star Propane.

“We always like to acknowledge that the roots of our business go all the way back to the 1940s,” Kasprzak says.

The family mentality is what motivated Sopchak and Kasprzak to start Texas Star Propane.

“Joel called me and said that he wanted to open his own business,” Kasprzak says. “He told me, ‘I’ll teach the propane business if you teach me customer service’ and I said, ‘Here we go; let’s do this.’”

The high school best friends combined a background in customer service with propane industry experience, a pairing that has served Texas Star Propane well.

The company started small, with one propane truck and one used propane tank that was purchased off of Craigslist. As the company enjoyed rapid growth, it added a second truck in 2010, moved to a rented storefront in 2012 and now has its own location that houses five bobtails, two service trucks and serves an eight-county radius.

“It’s crazy when people ask how long we have been in business and they think we are lying because of how far we have come,” Kasprzak says.

The success can be attributed to a number of ventures, but the most recent contributor to the company’s success is generator sales.

According to Kasprzak, in the four months it has offered generators, the company has sold over 50 units. Targeting existing customers and cutting out the middleman have been two key factors in this success.

Sopchak’s brother, Clinton Sopchak, who serves as lead technician for the company, was behind the idea and is a major reason for the company’s success in this market.

After installing generators sold by third-party salesmen, there were differing views and concerns about what the salespeople were promising customers and what the company could safely offer.

Eventually, Joel Sopchak and Kasprzak asked Clinton Sopchak for thoughts about adding this division to the company. With the success of its generator sales, Texas Star Propane anticipates it will sell over 1 million gallons next year.

Good things are on the horizon for Texas Star Propane as it approaches its 10th anniversary, but Kasprzak and Joel Sopchak like to remember their paths to success, while also giving back to the community.

The company participates in the Lone Survivor program, which aids active and veteran military members. The desire to give back and recognize their roots comes from the simple mantra: “To be successful in anything, you have to be willing to give.”

Founded: 2009
Founders/owners: Joel Sopchak and Joshua Kasprzak
Headquarters: Plantersville, Texas
Employees: 10
Customers: 3,000
Propane sales: 950,000 gallons

This article is tagged with and posted in Current Issue, Featured
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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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