Thomas Oil to celebrate 65th anniversary
By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer
When it comes to starting a business and running it, few have what it takes to find and sustain success.
Only so many businesses survive in a local market, even less succeed when trying to expand in a state.
That is what makes the 65-year anniversary of W.H. Thomas Oil Company impressive.
The company began in July 1956 when founder William H. Thomas decided to make his start in Clanton.
“The 65th Anniversary is a meaningful time for the Thomas family,” Kathy Chesser of Thomas Oil said. “It represents so much; family determination to succeed, hard work and taking pride in treating the customers the way they want to be treated. It’s a little old fashioned, but it works for the Thomas Oil family.”
Thomas Oil’s 65th anniversary will not officially take place until July. For over six decades, the company has served the oil needs of not only the people of Chilton County, but the whole state of Alabama.
Since its founding, Thomas Oil has expanded to Decatur and Auburn, and the company serves customers all over the state.
The company is still family-run as William H. Thomas’s sons, Bill and Howard Thomas, have taken over and been a part of the growth and success of the company. Going forward, the plan is for the company to remain a family business as Bill’s and Howard’s sons, Daniel and Trevor Thomas, will take over. They will try to replicate the success of those before them, and keep growing Thomas Oil.
“It’s good to see the family business continue for a third generation,” Bill Thomas said.
The third generation of Thomas men will have big shoes to fill, as they continue the company’s reputation for excellent customer service. Customer service has been a key value for the Thomas family for the past 65. It is the most important thing to both of the Thomas brothers. They understand that customers crave good customer service, and it’s the one thing that will keep bringing success to Thomas Oil.
“I think that we have tried to instill in both of our sons the importance of customer service,” Bill Thomas said. “I think in today’s industry, you probably don’t see as much customer service as people would like to have, and we have tried to continue that, and tried to instill in them the necessity of continuing to give good service.”
Soon, the company will be passed down to a new generation, one that plans to keep Thomas Oil on top.
“The family business is still growing and they are looking forward to another 65 years in the history book,” Chesser said. “One thing for sure you can count on … is that the Thomas Boys are making it happen!