Formerly Known As Edward S. Anyzek Coal
Written By: Ed Anyzek Sr. and Ed Anyzek Jr.
In 1932 my father, Edward S. Anyzek, started his own coal business. He worked during the day as a toggler in a leather factory in Philadelphia. A toggler is a person who stretches leather hides.
My father, Edward S. Anyzek’s first truck was a 1928 Ford stake body with closed sides. He would deliver coal in the evening and on the weekends. My mother, Julia, would sometimes ride shot-gun with his brother to upstate Pennsylvania to pick up a load of coal. I was told that when they heard of a weight check point they would stop and shovel off excess coal so they would not be fined. My father’s truck held 8 tons of coal. My father and some helpers would shovel off the coal into a small flatbed truck and he would deliver the coal in 100 pound potato sack bags dumping the coal into the customer's cellar window.
My mother, Julia, ran the coal yard and sold 100-pound bags of coal to customers. They would come to their house at 827 Liberty Street in Camden. We would stockpile about 400 tons of coal in our yard for the season.
In the early years of business, my father bought a 1936 Diamond T high lift coal truck but soon after purchasing it the truck got wrecked. So he went back to the flatbed truck for his deliveries. Around 1942 he bought a 1936 White three-ton high lift truck. In order to start this truck in the cold weather we had to keep the battery on charge all night and would park the truck on a pile of horse manure and cover it with a tarp, the manure would generate heat to keep the engine warm. Boy did it smell in the morning.
Sometimes I would go to the coal mines with my father. On many of these trips, we didn’t have a heater on in the truck. My father’s idea was if he was told he wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel. We would stop at his favorite restaurant at the halfway point. One particular time I was so cold and felt like I was going to freeze. When we got to the restaurant I was crying and the owner asked me what was the matter and I told him I was frozen. The restaurant owner asked my father if we had a heater in the truck and my father replied “no”. The owner told my father that I could stay at the restaurant until he returned with his load of coal. The owner then took me into the kitchen and sat me on a chair in front of the oven with the door open. I stayed there until my father had returned and picked me up after getting the coal. After that my father installed a heater in the truck but we never had a radio.
At the age of 15 being the only son of Edward and Julia Anyzek, I learned how to drive the old coal truck and made deliveries in the city of Camden on my own.
In 1950 my father decided to go into the oil business. He bought a 1932 International KB7 1200 gallon oil truck with 5 compartments. It was an old ESSO farm delivery truck. The smallest compartment was 145 gallons. We still have the tank from this truck to this day hopefully one day we will be able to restore the tank and install it on a period-correct cab and chassis.
In the 1950s my father retired from the coal business but continued with the oil business. He joined Calso Petroleum pm RT. 38 in Cherry Hill as one of their dealers. We stayed with them until they closed. Then we started to buy from Federal Oil Company in Camden. The owner was Chris Weber who was the mayor of Delaware Township,( Cherry Hill, N.J now ). He was one great guy.
Our primary place of business was from our home at 827 Liberty Street in Camden, N.J. Our phone number was 856-964-1275. My mother did all the book work. In the early 1950s, my dad and I went to Camden County Vocational School in Pennsauken, N.J. for evening classes about oil burner installations and services which were held two nights a week. At the age of 17 I was doing heater cleaning for $9.50 each plus parts. My first oil burner installation was for our milkman Ed in Fairview, N.J. on Constitution Road. Ed was our customer for 30 years until he had passed.
On September 1, 1956, I married my wife Barbara Batezel of Gloucester City. Also in 1956 my parents and I entered into a partnership that lasted until 1958 when my wife Barbara and I started our own business delivering heating oil and performing oil burner service and installing heaters from our home at 316 South 3rd Street, Gloucester City NJ. Barbara was in charge of paying all bills and sending out all statements. Our first oil truck was a 1946 Reo which was a 1200 gallon truck which we paid $800.00. In 1962 I got a Camden City plumbing License and added plumbing to the company. In 1964 Barb and I moved to 38 Yale Ave. Gloucester City and ran Anyzek Fuel from our basement office.
In 1966 Barb and I purchased a brand new GMC 2000 gallon oil truck. Then in 1968 Edward S. Anyzek turned his company and his accounts over to me, Edmund E. Anyzek Sr. A couple of years later in 1973 Barb and I purchased Topeka Oil Company which was located in Mantua, and in 1975 we purchased H Rhoda and Son Fuel Company which was located on Cumberland St. in Gloucester City. In 1978 we purchased Penn Jersey Coal and Oil from Al Dematos they were located on North 27th street in Camden NJ. Penn Jersey had 10,000 worth of coal in stock so we were back in the coal business. We would deliver coal by the ton to people's homes or they could come to our home and buy 50lb bags of coal or 5-gallon cans of kerosene.
In 1980 due to the growing size of Anyzek Fuels, it was time to relocate to our current location at 916 Market Street Gloucester CIty, NJ. Moving our business out of our basement was a big change for me and Barb. It was very convenient being able to work right in our own home but now we have much more space to grow our business.
In 1985 Ed Jr. graduated high school from Camden County Vocational School where he graduated with certifications in both Plumbing and Heating. From there he went to Camden County college for a year and a half and still worked part-time for Anyzek Fuels. After three semesters of college Ed Jr. decided it was time to go work for Anyzek Fuels full time. In 1995 Ed Jr. took and passed the New Jersey Masters Plumbers test. His current Master Plumbers number is 9802. Prior to taking the Master Plumbers test Ed Jr. took a class over at Philadelphia Community College for the New Jersey state Plumbing Course test.
Then in 1992 we purchased Pavonia Fuel / Bell Coal they were located in Camden NJ. Later on, we purchased the coal customer list from Granite Coal in Pennsauken NJ, C Harry Price Coal in Burlington, and Peter Kandle Coal in Pitman.
In 1986 we started doing air conditioning repairs and new installations for our customers. We needed to keep up the trend of air conditioning becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. In 1992 we acquired M.D Crane and Co. from Williamstown. In February 1993 Barb, unfortunately, had a heart attack. Following her heart attack, she decided to retire from Anyzek Fuel.
On June 1, 1996, Ed Jr. married his wife Patty. In August Patty started working at our office and became a very important part of our company. She took over the day to day office operations.
With Patty running the office Ed Sr. and Ed Jr. decided it was time to expand Anyzek Fuels. Over the next several years the following acquisitions of quality companies have been added. Porch and Robb Plumbing in Gloucester in 1996, Williams Fuel in Williamstown in 1997, L&M and Vandergrift from Glassboro in 1999, Craig in Berlin and Obergfell in Riverside in 2005, OLT Brothers from Pennsauken in 2006, Granate Fuel in Pennsauken in 2011, and Tiver Fuel in Medford in 2012.
Sadly September 14, 2002 our founder Edward S. Anyzek peacefully passed away in his home at the age of 97.
In 2010 we stopped selling coal and started referring our coal customers over to Woodstown ice & coal.
We now have a nice sized oil company along with plumbing, heating, and AC company which is presently run by my one and only son Ed Jr. and his wife Patty. My son and I are presently State of New Jersey Licensed Master Plumbers.
Sadly on March 17, 2015 Ed Sr. passed away. Although his passing was an extremely difficult time for our family we know that he would expect the same quality service and the quality acquisitions of Anyzek Fuel to continue. Following his passing, we added Dobbs Fuel in Cherry Hill and General Fuel in Woodbury in 2016 and we took over the oil deliveries of Vaughan Oil in 2017 into the Anyzek family.
Sadly tragedy struck the Anyzek family again on December 17, 2016 with the untimely passing of Barbara.
A new era is about to begin with Anyzek Fuel celebrating its 85th Anniversary. My son Edmund E. Anyzek III has graduated from Gloucester Catholic this year. He will be attending Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he will be studying HVAC, Plumbing and Business.
We are looking forward to see what the next 85 years bring!