REGION – Customers of a local oil company will be noticing a change in their distributor.

Firmstone Lakewood Fuels has acquired Howe Oil Company, which includes Hawley Oil and Miller Oil.

Both companies are over a century old. Firmstone Lakewood Fuels was established in 1915 while Howe Oil was established in 1919.

“It was my primary concern that my customers would continue to be in good hands,” said Mike Kwiatek, president of Howe Oil in a release. “That is why I worked with the Firmstone Family.”

Firmstone Lakewood Fuels has expressed excitement and pride at the opportunity.

“Our family is very excited to welcome our new customers,” said James Firmstone, Firmstone Lakewood Fuels executive for over 50 years. “We have always served customers in parts of Pike County and now we have the opportunity to expand our service area south and east, to include the Greater Milford area.”

Kwiatek added both companies have been doing business for a long time and says Howe, Hawley and Miller customers will still be in good hands.

“Customers will continue to be served by a respected, local, family owned company,” he said.

Customers will also see little change. There will still be the same drivers and trucks making fuel deliveries. They will even be able to call the same number they always have.

“We want all of our customers to be assured they have no worries when it comes to staying warm this winter,” said Ron Firmstone, general manager and company dispatcher. “We recommend automatic delivery as the best option for anyone who does not want the fear of forgetting to check their fuel level and running out.

“With Auto Delivery Service, we keep you from running out. There are no worries with ‘Worry Free Delivery Service.’ ”

Steven Firmstone, operations manager, said the company sees the acquisition as a perfect fit.

“It made sense to us,” he said on Friday. “There wasn't a lot of overlap, but it just expanded our area to the south and east.”

“What this merger means to our customers is that because our service territories are expanded, our customers will now be served by a fuel company with more resources to supply them better,” Steven said in a release.

“A larger fleet of trucks and drivers, program options and friendly office staff means better service to all customers.”

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About Firmstone Lakewood Fuels

For nearly 100 years Firmstone Oil Company, (Trading as Firmstone Lakewood Fuels) has been dedicated to one thing: service to their customers.

Founded in Lakewood in 1915, and now based in Honesdale, Firmstone Lakewood Fuels specializes in the distribution of petroleum products to homes, farms and business.

They are one of Wayne County’s oldest, continually operated companies.

They serve all of Northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as the western part of Sullivan and Delaware Counties in New York State.

Firmstone Lakewood Fuels also distributes Exxon and Mobil brand gasoline to several retail sites in the region.

About Howe Oil

The Howe Oil Company was founded in Lake Ariel by John T. Howe in 1919, and has served the region with heating fuels and quality service ever since.

Originally an Atlantic Brand distributor, the company has enjoyed its most recent success under the leadership of the founder’s granddaughter and her husband: Susan and Mike Kwiatek.

Mike and Susan began managing Howe Oil about 25 years ago, when Susan’s father, Bruce Howe, retired.

During that time the Howe Oil Company expanded its customer base on three different occasions when they welcomed the customers of Hawley Oil (Hawley), Miller Oil (Milford), and Locklin Oil (Hamlin).

The parent company, John T. Howe Inc., continues to own and operate convenience stores in Lake Ariel, The Twin Rocks Dinner, Comfort Inn &the 84 Travel Plaza & Truck Stop on Route 191 and Interstate 84.