Clara Peller’s line in Wendy’s hamburger commercials was the popular line in 1984. If you don’t remember 1984, were not around to remember it, (or were around, remember it, but won’t admit it), here’s what the world looked like:
- The Detroit Tigers won their first World Series since 1968
- Dynasty, Dallas and the Cosby Show were the most popular TV series
- Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale squared off in the 1984 presidential election
- AT&T’s monopoly came to an end as “Ma Bell” broke up into a series of regional “Baby Bells”
- Apple introduced its Macintosh computer for about $2,400
- Motorola introduced a consumer cell phone, about the size of your shoe, for “only” $3,500. Cell phone air time was about $5.00 a minute and generally limited to local calls.
- It cost $1.10 to buy a gallon of gas for your brand new Dodge RAM pickup that cost only $8,995.
- The current owners of Caywood Propane Gas, Inc. had a full head of jet black hair (a quick glance at “About Us” on our website shows that a lot has changed since 1984)
1984 also is the year that our family started what is now known as Caywood Propane Gas, Inc. to supply residential, agricultural and commercial customers. The reason for starting the business was simple: meeting customer needs.
When our grandfather started selling gasoline and home heating oil in 1939, almost 80% of homes in Michigan were heated with coal. Only 6.7% were heated with fuel oil, and propane use was so small the government did not even measure it. When our family started selling propane in 1984, about 12% of families heated their homes with fuel oil and about 4% heated their homes with propane. Today, over 15% of homes in southeastern Michigan use propane to heat their homes. Less than 3% use fuel oil.
So what customer need did we meet in 1984, lots of other guys were already selling propane? That gets us back to “Where’s the Beef?” For us, the beef (and the customer need we meet) is transparency. We may not have the lowest propane prices, but we strongly believe that we have the best value. So much so that we put our current and historical prices on our website for all to see. There’s a reason almost all of our competitors have websites but don’t post prices. Transparency is good when you provide value. Not so much if you don’t. Where’s the Beef?
If you lease a tank, price track records are especially important because you are locking in your supplier. Again, we post our twenty year price history to help you understand where our prices fall year-in and year-out compared to other Michigan propane retailers. No other competitor does that. Again, there is a reason. Transparency is good when you provide value. Not so much if you don’t. Where’s the Beef?
We plan to celebrate our 30th anniversary in all the usual ways. There will be lots of hoopla, parades and celebrations. But the biggest celebration for us will be meeting your propane energy needs in new and better ways, including more robust online account access, ordering and invoice payment. Of course, we will continue to provide the best value combination of safety, reliability and price with the most transparency. So where’s the beef? It’s right here at Caywood Propane Gas, Inc.