Archived Story

Atlas Oil Co. opens new location in Niles

Published 10:06am Monday, January 4, 2010

Niles Daily Star

A family owned company turned nationally recognized industry player has chosen Niles as its latest location in an effort to expand its business, with hopes that the move may even see the opportunity for additional jobs.

Atlas Oil Co., headquartered in Taylor, Mich. and a premier distributor and supplier of fuel, announced at the end of December its move to open a new location in Niles on Fulkerson Road.

“Our strategic growth in the Michigan and Indiana markets provides a strong platform for enhancing and creating customer relationships,” said Bob Kenyon, vice president of sales and operations. “Atlas intends to unveil new value-added petroleum distribution models that will benefit all customers in the supply chain.”

The company started out as a small, family-owned operation. Sam Simon was just 9 years old when his family arrived in Detroit in 1983, according to the company’s official history.

At 20, he was distributing kerosene to a dozen gas stations. Just one year later, Simon purchased a truck of his own, to distribute fuel himself.

Atlas Oil Co. was created and since has become a highly recognized industry player with customers in Michigan, Indiana, Texas and Illinois among a total of 18 states as well as in Ontario, Canada – serving a total of 354 gas stations in 2009.

With the opening of the Niles office, Atlas has moved its Indiana operations (located in Granger) to Fulkerson Road as the company’s central area location.

“Atlas Oil purchased the Niles office facility as part of its acquisition of B & R Oil Co. in 2004,” Mary Zaleski, director of marketing for Atlas, said last week. “The building operated as a bulk plant until this past summer when we decided to relocate our trucks and maintenance from South Bend to this facility. To create efficiencies, we decided to move all operations under one roof – administration, sales and support, so those areas also moved to Niles and the building was refurbished to accommodate the staff.”

Simon still serves as CEO and chairman of the company, which has expanded its operations from that one truck back in the 1980s to distribution, wholesale, bulk tank delivery, renewable fuels and even retail services.

Asked if the move could mean job opportunities for the area, Zaleski said, “Yes, we anticipate growth in staff as we add drivers, mechanics and sales and administrative support.”

Atlas’ Niles location will service its Indiana and Illinois markets as well as manage northwest Indiana and southwestern Michigan operations.

Atlas Oil Co. was recently listed on Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 5000″ list, with revenues of $1.2 billion in 2008.

And it would seem the future is looking bright.

“Despite the tough economic environment, we are experiencing record growth,” Zaleski said. “This is due in large part to focusing our time and energy on building our corporate culture, adhering to our strategy and building relationships along the way.

“Our hopes for the future,” she continued, “include expanding our current footprint in 20 states into new markets, achieving growth both organically and through acquisition and continuing to develop our team and infrastructure to support our 10-year strategic plan.”
For more information on Atlas Oil Co., visit

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