If any of our readers have wondered how Stuart Perry has had such dedication and success in establishing Perry Wellness Center, let’s just say that he came by it naturally. The extended Perry Family has long been active in business in Southwest Georgia, most notably with Perry Brothers Oil Company. In addition to providing a variety of services and supplies to area residents, the company has provided crucial assistance to Perry Wellness Center through use of their business sites for the growing organization. These include the original Perry Wellness Center on Hwy. 280, the current site, and use of their property for Mobile Market sites at GasnGo locations throughout the region. Recently, brothers Steve and Dave Perry chatted about their family and business, and we thought readers would be interested in hearing their story.

Extended Perry Family

Steve and Dave Perry sat down to discuss their business and family: their origins, where they are today, and what the future holds.With the completion of 16 GasNGo gasoline and food service stores in Southwest Georgia, concentration on company management and continued improvement increases. 

“We are proud of our expansion and want our service areas to grow and thrive because of our station location and product offerings with our already great customer service,” said Steve Perry. Elder brother Steve is president of Perry Brothers Oil Co.  His brother Dave is vice president and is also president of Perry Brothers Aviation Fuels.  Together, the two are continuing to lead a company that was started by their parents in the 1950s and now employs some 300 people.  They have a sister, Jennifer Buford, who lives in Cordele.

Steve said the company was founded on Sept. 1, 1957, by their father, the late William S. Perry and his mother, Joyce Perry, along with two Perry uncles, in Ellaville.  Bill Perry, as their dad was known, was a commissioned agent with Standard Oil Co.  He and their mom were working at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, but Bill Perry wanted to go into business for himself.  So, he and older brothers Eldridge and Tom started Perry Brothers Oil Co.  The young company, only employing the husband and wife team, sold gasoline, diesel, oil, and tires.  They started with one delivery truck.

In 1970, the company relocated to Americus at the corner of Elm Avenue and Furlow Street, where it operated until March 2007, when its physical plant suffered heavy damage by a tornado.  That property was later rebuilt for Steve and Dave’s cousin, Stuart Perry, the founder and CEO of Perry Wellness Center and Rudy’s Happy Patch Market.  That is when plans began for a new Perry Brothers Oil Company complex.

The family had purchased property at Highways 280 and 19, the former site of H. B. Arnold, a grain business, and Sunset Drive-in Theater.  It took several years to prepare the site for construction and Steve said during this period, he and Dave worked on the design of the 45,000-sq. ft. complex, which includes business offices, the tire business, warehousing space, a Gas N Go store and pumps, and space for parking their truck fleet. The family moved into the new location in 2010, which represented a huge investment in the Sumter County community.

Although the Perrys take business seriously, family is especially important to them, and they have successfully combined both in Perry Brothers.  Founder Bill Perry passed away in 2014, but others have carried on his legacy. His wife Joyce worked as the company’s tax accountant until 2013, when she retired at age 80.  Steve’s son Stephen now oversees the Gas N Go operations.  They have 16 Gas N Go stores spread across the state, including Cordele, Byron, Ellaville, Buena Vista, Cusseta, Richland, Fort Valley, Preston, Tazewell, Montezuma, and Pinehurst.  Steve’s son Lance is the IT guy for the company.  Dave’s son-in-law Andy Gordon manages the tire business, while son Ashley Wheeler is the lubricant salesman, and wife Vangie’s nephew Chris is also employed with the company.    

Dave, who’s been flying for 28 years, uses his plane for business but also for pleasure trips with his wife Lori, who is a nurse practitioner in the cardiology department of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center, just across the highway from Perry Brothers Oil Company. Dave does several "Angel Flights" each year to carry patients to health professionals not locally provided.  Vangie’s brother Jeff Williams, a community artist of note, also helps out with logos and artwork for the company, as well as Perry Wellness Center.  “He gives us ‘our look,’” Steve said.

Both brothers enjoy interacting with people, which also helps to build and maintain a successful business.  They said they also enjoy engaging with the public.  “It’s the customers who have made this company such a success,” stressed Steve.  “That’s why we’re here,” Dave said, “to serve our customers.” They said their employees are like family, and turnover is incredibly low with some having worked for the company for decades.  Both brothers grew up in the business with their parents and started working there in their teens.  

As expansion of Perry Brothers GasnGo sites continues, there will be more than only a brick and mortar site. The family legacy of investment belief of friends and customers will likewise continue. "We are proud of our growth in Southwest Georgia. We look forward to doing good things for good people," said Steve Perry.

In the photo above, the extended Perry Family celebrates life and family appreciation at the annual Thanksgiving gathering at the of the original home site of their grandparents, Clarence and Mary Eula Perry.

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