September 4, 2008
Pellets selling 'like mad'

New Hampshire Union Leader Staff

GOFFSTOWN - A massive increase in the popularity of wood pellets as a home heating fuel has boosted sales ten-fold at a Goffstown pellet distributor. 

Managers at LLC have gone on a hiring spree as a result, trying to recruit workers to help handle the increased workload. Over the past month, the firm has hired drivers, customer service personnel, human resources employees, among others. It is working with recruiters to hire more people. The company's payroll now stands at about 35 workers, up from 22 near the end of last year. 

"We've been hiring like crazy. We've grown like mad," said Jon Strimling, the company's chief executive. "We sold more material last week than we sold in two good months last year." is a search engine for people looking to buy wood pellets. 

Users type in their ZIP codes and get lists of price quotes -- including the cost, type and brand of the fuel, and delivery options. Delivery to one's home is available throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic, as well as on the West Coast. 

The increase in hiring comes as the company launches a nationwide distribution system, drawing from wood pellet suppliers across the U.S. and Canada. 

Strimling said the company can draw from sources as far away as British Columbia for its wood pellets, and is moving more product long distances. 

A few months ago, the company moved to new offices at 84 Daniel Plummer Road in Goffstown from its former location at 97 Eddy Road in Manchester. Their location also has several thousand square feet of warehouse space for distribution. 

A major driver behind the growth, Strimling said, was the high cost of home heating oil. In its Short-Term Energy Outlook forecast issued earlier this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted retail heating oil prices, in the Northeast, would run at least $4 per gallon through year's end. 

"It's gotten to the point where people have just had enough," Strimling said. 



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