Mission Gas thrives in San Antonio's colonial surroundings

While San Antonio, Texas, is home to the famous Alamo, many people may not be aware that there are several other 18th century Spanish missions in the area.

That's not the case, though, for the owners of Mission Gas Co, a full-service propane business. “We have our name due to the presence of the four Spanish frontier missions in our vicinity,” says Matt Terry, company vice-president.

The historic missions just down the road were established by the Spanish in the 1700s: Concepcion, San Juan Capistrano, San Jose, and San Francisco de la Espada.

And if location weren't enough, the propane distributor's maintenance director, Gilbert Rangel, is an active member of the parish of San Juan Capistrano, which is operated by the Archdiocese of San Antonio and maintained by the National Park Service.

While Mission Propane Gas Co may not date back centuries like the historic sites, it was established over 60 years ago under the name Perfecto Gas Company. Matt's father, Ted Terry, acquired the company in 1982 and the name became Mission Propane.

The senior Terry was a pilot for Braniff International Airways, which ceased operations in the 1980s. While not familiar with trucks, he had a pilot's self-discipline that served him well in running a business. The years in aviation also provided a strong commitment to safety, a critical factor in operating a company that handles hazardous materials.

Mission Propane serves approximately 3,200 customers in Bexar, Atascosa, Wilson, Guadalupe, Comal, Kendall, Bandera, Medina, and Kerr counties. About 75% of the business goes to residential service while the remaining 25% is applied to commercial customers. The company provides fuel to urban and rural households and urban commercial establishments, including SeaWorld San Antonio.

At SeaWorld, Mission Propane supplies product used to heat two 1,000-gallon tanks for the animals and provides service for the vaporizer equipment and other propane-related components.

Residential service

“Propane service to homes and residential customers is our mainstay,” say Matt. “Although propane is primarily heating fuel, our residential service capabilities go beyond just providing a heating fuel.”

Some customers are exhibiting changes from traditional services. “We are seeing more demand for underground tanks for new homes than we have in the past,” says Matt. “We can help our customers choose the right size tank, install it, and have them up and running in no time.” The company keeps bulk residential and commercial propane tanks on hand for sale or lease. It also loans tanks under certain circumstances. Propane tanks carried in inventory have capacities of 250 gallons, 500 gallons, and 1,000 gallons. Underground and above ground propane tanks are available in all sizes.

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