This week is the one year anniversary of DieselGreen Fuels. After a year of trying to work in a cooperative environment with a dozen or so others, it became clear that the non-profit coop was not meant to be. This time last year, we spent a weekend in Denver hearing for the first time that many others had found the same path just as difficult, and would ultimately disband or turn into real businesses. This latter route is the direction we took, forming an LLC between myself, Elizabeth Patrick, and Michael Mullins.The past year has been a real rollercoaster ride – working nights and weekends while friends are out having fun; missing time with our significant others; learning the ropes of running a business; getting licenses for the various business activities we are working towards.
The first few months were spent trying to figure out what all we were going to do, and we have settled on the following:
- Biodiesel distribution – B99 (except during the coldest parts of winters) sold to retail stations – currently all retail sales go through Eco-Wise
- Biodiesel retail – B99 on a limited basis from our own warehouse. We don’t take credit cards and are only open 7-10pm on Tuesdays, but we service a select crowd of enthusiasts that were with us from the beginning. We feel this is an important part of staying close to our customers and the community
- VegOil distribution and retail – clean, dewatered vegetable oil collected by us for the purposes of burning in a diesel engine or as a feedstock for biodiesel.
- Home and commercial refueling stations – from 180 to 1000+ gallon systems, we offer a steel tank with pump, meter, filter, and auto-shutoff nozzle just like you’d find at a gas station
- Vehicle conversions to run directly on VegOil – our preferred vendor is Greasecar, but will install the kit of customer’s choosing
The next several months were spent getting licenses:
- Texas Rendering License to pick up vegetable oil for processing
- Texas Motor Fuels Tax License to haul diesel and biodiesel around, and sell it wholesale
- Sales Tax Permit to sell retail goods
- Business insurance, including auto
- IRS registration to pay excise taxes on fuel
The past six months have been us getting our first major customer (Eco-Wise) and taking our collection and delivery process through several generations into our current system of “suction, settling, centrifuge” for oil collection.
We’ve also taken on two interns, Adam and Matt, who we hope will help us build our restaurant clientele to the point where Michael can work full time starting in September.
I hope to update this blog regularly to include news about the business, thoughts on the industry, and offer a place for others to comment.