Learn about the history of our company! We would like to share with you the story of how our family-run energy business began nearly a century ago—right here in Greenfield, Massachusetts.
A. R. & W. A. Sandri
The history of the Sandri Companies is an old-fashioned American success story. It is of two men who, over the course of nearly seventy-five years, with hard work, intelligence, and savvy grew a successful family business that has worked to benefit its community as well as their family.
A.R. Sandri came to Greenfield, Massachusetts, from the granite quarrying town of Barre, Vermont, where, due to the death of his father, his mother urged him to find another, less hazardous line of work. In 1929 he found work with the Pan-Am Oil Company, and after a brief internship he was officially hired as chief clerk. At Pan-Am, his supervisor could not remember or pronounce his given name, Acilio Remo, so he nicknamed him Bill (a name by which many still call him today). In 1930 the young Sandri was offered a lease on a gasoline station at 155 Main Street in Greenfield. So began the Sandri family businesses.
By 1962, A.R. was a successful Cities Service distributor in Franklin County with 26 service stations, a strong farm and commercial account base, and a fuel oil business of about five million gallons yearly. A.R. was searching for more ways to expand and grow his business, and in 1964 Sun Oil Company offered him just that. The conversion to Sunoco products was completed by the next summer, and by 1969 Sandri’s service stations numbered almost 50, with about 2,200 heating oil customers and 230 commercial and farm gasoline accounts. A.R. Sandri, Inc. had now grown to serve two counties in Massachusetts and also the lower portions of Vermont and New Hampshire.
In 1969, William A. Sandri, son of A.R., came to work for the business full- time. W.A. had a very successful academic career at Deerfield Academy and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. W.A. began working in the business when he was very young doing various jobs during his summer vacations. After managing a restaurant and tending bar in Stowe, Vermont, W.A. came back to Greenfield to start a family and continue the family business.
Expansion throughout New England
By 1973, W.A. took over as President of A.R. Sandri, Inc. and began a series of steps to take the company to the next level. The most impressive of these moves came in 1976 with the buyout of all of Sunoco’s gasoline stations in Vermont and Southern New Hampshire. That move single-handedly put the Sandri corporations in the forefront of Fuels Distribution in New England and became the largest distributor of Sunoco gasoline, fuels, and lubes in the United States. Under the direction of W.A., Sandri Sunoco was the first to attain the five million gallon mark for gasoline sales in one month, and the first to attain the 50 million gallon mark for gasoline sales in one year.
Industry Involvement and Business Development
W.A. Sandri went on to become President and Director of the Independent Oil Marketers Association of New England, President and Director of the Petroleum Marketing Education Foundation, and Regional Vice President and Director of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, among many other accolades in the Petroleum Industry. He also became involved in the Golf and Restaurant Industry with the acquisition of Crumpin- Fox Club and related businesses in 1987. Years later with his addition of two more courses—Fox Hollow Golf Club in New Port Richey, Florida, and Fox Hopyard Golf Club in East Haddam, Connecticut—the Sandri name became synonymous with award-winning golf as well.
A.R. Sandri remained the Chairman of the Board until he passed away at the age of 99. He spent most of his time at his farm in Southern New Hampshire in his waning days.
Community and Philanthropic Participation
W.A. Sandri was CEO of all the Sandri Companies until his passing in December of 2012. W.A. found time to give to the community generously as a philanthropist of the highest degree. His dedication to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association goes back to the late 1970s.His annual Big Brothers Big Sisters charity golf tournament—which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2016—has raised nearly one million dollars to benefit both the local Franklin County Chapter of BBBS and to fund the national “High School Bigs” program. On August 6, 2007 W.A. Sandri was awarded the inaugural Leadership in Philanthropy award by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Welcoming Timothy Van Epps
On April 1, 2005 Sandri, Inc. was proud to welcome Timothy Van Epps, W. A. Sandri’s son-in-law, into the family business as Executive Vice President. Tim has a strong background in financial sales and a fresh outlook that has contributed to a new energy within the Sandri organization. On August 1, 2007 W.A. Sandri promoted Van Epps to President of the Sandri Companies and he took on the additional role of CEO and Chairman of The Board upon W.A.’s passing. Van Epps is always capitalizing on the ever-expanding opportunities that the company has to offer and leading this unique family business into the future.
From Then to Now
The past nearly 90 years have been a wonderful and successful journey; we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our valued customers, employees, friends, and family. We sincerely look forward to sharing our future with you as well.