Discount Oil, LLC
Warming Homes and Hearts
If you had asked Katie Warne five years ago if she’d be running a home heating service, she would’ve laughed. Her husband Chuck had suggested they buy an oil delivery truck and enter into the business in which he worked part-time. Intent on dissuading him, Katie ran the numbers to show how risky a proposition it was, but Chuck wouldn’t budge.
“He believed we could do it,” she said. “So we crossed our fingers and jumped in with both feet.”
With help from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the pair developed a business plan for their company, Discount Oil, LLC and went shopping for a loan.
“We didn’t have any trouble qualifying for a loan to buy the truck,” Katie said. “But the oil allocation was another story.” At the SBDC’s suggestion, the Warnes approached First State Community Loan Fund, who agreed to a loan to cover the delivery truck and some working capital to purchase oil.
Four years later, the woman-owned business employs three full-time employees and serves thousands of customers with hundreds of deliveries each week during the season. In the off months, Chuck works as a pipefitter with the Local 74 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, while Katie manages Discount Oil’s operations and marketing.
The Newark-based couple shares their success with their community, supporting non-profit organizations and annually awarding free oil to local families in need. “We’re so fortunate to be as successful as we’ve been,” Katie said. “Giving back to the community that raised us is just the right thing to do.”