A Long History of Milestones
Crystal Flash Energy has a long and rich history which began in 1932 when John (Jack) E. Fehsenfeld, with one old truck, established Crystal Flash Petroleum Corporation. Since then, the company has changed extensively, expanding into various lines of business and transforming its name to Crystal Flash Energy (CFE). The founder’s core values always remained unmovable and are embedded into everything we currently do.
1932 - 1938
1932 - Crystal Flash was founded by John E Fehsenfeld with one old truck and a rented fuel storage facility in Indianapolis, IN.
1936 - Frank Fehsenfeld (pictured on the right), John’s oldest son, moved to Grand Rapids, MI to operated a Grand Rapids based wholesale petroleum distributorship.
1938 - Frank and his brother Jack Jr. entered the retail fuel market with a small filling station in Ionia called F&J’s.
1940 - Crystal Flash, with seven gas stations, entered the home heating business, selling heating oil for $.06 a gallon.
1946 - Crystal Flash's heating oil business ran around 900,000 gallons when coal workers went out on strike forcing homeowners to switch to fuel oil.
1949 - Carl Henry, a Crystal Flash dealer, gave a new image to gasoline sales: a white station, white curbs, white uniforms and service 24 hours a day.
1955 - The very first edition of the Crystal Flash News went out to team members.
1959 - Crystal Flash was noted as the largest distributor of heating oil in Grand Rapids.
1965 - Crystal Flash grew to 18 stations and the price of gas was $.31 per gallon.
1968 - 1975
1968 - Bernie Follett, Station Manager whose volume was up 12.6% over the previous year said: “We take advantage of the automatic nozzle and use the time it takes to fill the gas tank to clean tail lights, head lights, and all the windows…”
1970 - The second coldest January in 50 years kept fuel oil drivers working seven days a week making sure all our
customers’ needs were met.
1971 - Crystal Flash designed two new stations in Allegan and Battle Creek with displays to sell milk, eggs, bread and ice cream instead of automotive service bays.
1974 - Crystal Flash prepared for the introduction of lead-free gasoline by installing special tanks and nozzles.
1975 - Crystal Flash in Paw Paw became the first in Michigan to offer self-serve gasoline.
1977 - 1988
1977 - Crystal Flash began to offer a Budget Plan to fuel oil customers.
1978 - Crystal Flash purchased the first computer to help with bookkeeping.
1982 - Waste Oil Department was started.
1988 - Crystal Flash entered the propane business with one 30,000 gallon tank and a few 500 gallons tanks.
1989 - 2002
1989 - Crystal Flash expanded into commercial fleet fueling and made a commitment to the natural environment by upgrading underground storage tanks many years before EPA requirement.
1990 - The Persian Gulf war reduced the world supply of crude oil as our shocked customers saw their bills nearly double in just 60 days.
2001 - Crystal Flash built two large wind generators located near Michigan's Mackinac Bridge.
2002 - Crystal Flash exited the gasoline retail business by selling 32 gas stations to Speedway.
2003 - 2008
2003 - Crystal Flash becomes US Coast Guard certified for the transfers of fuels into marine vessels.
2004 - Crystal Flash introduced biodiesel to its customers.
2005 - Crystal Flash sent a crew to help with hurricane relief efforts.
2007 - Crystal Flash Energy commitment to developing
renewable energy resources and supporting local economy lead
to expending biodiesel usage into all lines of products.
2008 - Crystal Flash supplied fuel to Hurricane affected areas.
2010 - For the fifth consecutive year, CFE was named “Carrier of the Year” in safety performance by Marathon Petroleum LLC.