Propane History

PepUp: Delmarva Propane Supplier

More than a fuel and propane supplier, PepUp provides comfort and convenience solutions to homes, farms, and businesses in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The communities that have helped build PepUp throughout the past six decades help us remain anchored to a family legacy of quality and service.

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Our Mission

We deliver comfort and convenience by investing in meaningful relationships. PepUp employees at every level strive to deliver more than just home energy. We are committed to nurturing the connection our customers have come to expect from PepUp since 1963.

keith and nash mcmahan owners family business photo
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PepUp Core Values

As a rising tide raises all ships, PepUp continues to grow and help build up the areas we serve. We honor our family's history of service, ethics, and integrity.


We put others’ needs over our own and communicate with kindness and empathy.


We share knowledge and best practices openly and are receptive to input and feedback from others.


We protect and manage the resources we’ve been given as if they were our own.


We hold ourselves accountable for results and never pass the buck on our mistakes.


We act as esteemed representatives of our company even when we’re not at work.

Our Story is Your Story: Faith, Family, Community

The McMahan family brings a high degree of integrity and trustworthiness to everything they do,’ said Fred Spence, former executive vice president and chief loan officer with Provident State Bank, and the past president of the Caroline Chamber of Commerce.

Spence has known the McMahan family for more than 30 years, and sees PepUp and the McMahan family as being instrumental in every major cause in Caroline County, as well as in most neighboring communities.    

– Reprinted courtesy of

Read more about what PepUp customers think of our service. We’re proud to call them our friends and neighbors.

Join the PepUp Family

Do you take great pride in helping others find solutions? Are you ready for a rewarding and lasting career that puts people first?

Learn more about careers with PepUp and reach out to us today. We’re always looking for great people who see themselves as we see PepUp: a local fuel oil and propane supplier with a heart for serving others well and connecting with the needs of our community.

Join the PepUp Family

Do you take great pride in helping others find solutions? Are you ready for a rewarding and lasting career that puts people first?

Learn more about careers with PepUp and reach out to us today. We’re always looking for great people who see themselves as we see PepUp: a local fuel oil and propane supplier with a heart for serving others well and connecting with the needs of our community.

History and Growth: The PepUp Story

From humble agricultural beginnings, PepUp has grown to include several local companies that share a focus on connection and relationships with our customers.


Lee D. McMahan starts McMahan Poultry Co. in Friendship, MD, and realizes a need for dependable fuel supplies. In the 1950’s, he buys a used oil truck to haul the heating oil for his poultry houses. It isn’t long before he also starts helping neighboring poultry farmers keep their essential heating oil reserves full, as well.


Lee establishes Tri Gas & Oil Co., Inc., connecting with commercial customers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland as a trusted heating oil and propane supplier.


In 1965, Lee then acquires Federalsburg Farm Service, owned by Tri Gas.

In 1977, William C. Pepper purchases Nutter D. Marvel Oil Company, which was an Amoco Jobbership located in Georgetown, DE.

In the 1980s, Tri Gas acquires Bradley Oil, Kleppenger Oil, and Turner Gas, and establishes our Grasonville and Cambridge office locations.

In 1986, The Nutter D. Marvel Oil Company expands to serve the Easton, MD area with the purchase of Russ Oil Co. from Ken Russ. The areas served by the end of the year include Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware and Queen Anne, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester Counties in Maryland.

In 1987, Mr. Pepper changes the name of his business to Pep-Up, Inc. and purchases stations in Millsboro and Fenwick Island, employing a total of 65 local residents.

In 1989, Pep-Up purchases Tilghman Ice and Fuel from Russell Harrison. That same year, adds service and installation of heat and air conditioning for the Cambridge and Easton areas.


At the passing of CEO Lee McMahan, Keith McMahan becomes the Tri Gas CEO and leads a decade of growth. In the next 10 years, Tri Gas purchases Bowman Propane, establishing our Galena location, and Cashwell Oil, closing the hardware shop.

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Robert Blades, who served as the company’s executive vice president from 1972-1998, remembers that Lee’s driving force was providing good jobs for employees. “He wanted to build a company that provided a good living for the employees, to help raise their families,” said Blades.

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Lee’s grandson, Nash, whose name comes from the automotive company, recalls that the hardware store was his grandfather’s favorite because of the connections he built with his customers. “He loved the people, and providing a place for them to gather and connect brought him great joy,” said Nash.


In 1991, Pep-Up purchases Midway Fuel from Jack Morris and Earl Warrington, a fuel oil distributor in the Rehoboth – Lewes, DE area.

In 1992, Pep-Up purchases West Fuel in Salisbury, MD from Doug West. This makes way for the addition of the Pep-Up Credit Cards, and expands the company’s service area to include Wicomico and Worcester Counties in Maryland.

In 1996, Pep-Up purchases Passwaters Petroleum in Harrington, DE from Ray Passwaters. The company continues to build upon Ray’s fine reputation of 44 years selling petroleum products, including Unocal Oils and lubricants.

In 1996, Tri Gas purchases Phillips Oil and Chas Gas. The very next year, the Georgetown, DE, office opens for business.

In 1997, Pep-Up begins serving commercial and individual customers as a propane supplier. By this time, Pep-Up serves all of Delaware and Maryland’s eastern shore with eight tractor trailers, two ten wheelers, 11 tank wagons, and two bobtails.

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Audrey McMahan

Audrey McMahan was an active community leader and a member of Union United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, and the Circle Ruth. She was a member of Nanticoke Chapter 64 Order of the Eastern Star, the Federalsburg Branch of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and the Memorial Hospital Association. She served on the board of Channel Marker and was instrumental in starting Caroline County Hospice.


In 2000, Tri Gas purchases Wilson Oil, Federalsburg Fuel Express, and Tilghman Oil.

In 2001, Pep-Up expands to serve Pocomoke, MD, opening an office there and purchasing a plant previously owned by Floyd Energy, Inc. in Oak Hall, VA.

In 2002, Pep-Up Inc. purchases Simpkins Oil Co., Inc. in Princess Anne, MD, from Michael Bruce and Kathy Simpkins Beauchamp.

In 2004, Pep-Up opens its Georgetown office.


Tri Gas establishes Tri-Trucking, LLC.


Nash McMahan becomes Tri Gas company president, continuing his family’s legacy of service as a trusted heating oil and propane supplier.


In 2013, Pep-Up purchases Bagwell Gas & Oil in Onancock, VA, with plants and offices in Tasley, Belle Haven, and Cape Charles, VA.

In 2014, The Tri Gas legacy expands with the acquisition of Annapolis Propane & Fuels.

In 2017, Pep-Up purchases H.W. Drummond Fuel in Parksley and Bellehaven, VA.


The growing Tri Gas family of companies acquires Peninsula Oil.


Tri Gas & Oil acquires Pep-Up, Inc.

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All energy brands unite under the new PepUp name. Our combined team utilizes best practices from each business – Tri Gas & Oil, Pep-Up, Inc., and Annapolis Propane and Fuels – to best serve our neighbors as the top fuel oil and propane supplier on Delmarva. PepUp is the comfort solutions provider you know and trust as a Tri Gas Family Company serving locations across Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.