Great Falls Brew Fest 2018

On Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, a team from CN Brown Company visited with the guests, (over 2,500 guests!), at the Great Falls Brew Fest in Auburn, Maine.  Our Loyalty  Coordinator, Susan Goulet, Marketing Manager, David Roberts, Director of Retail Sales & Purchasing, Brandi Cushman, and President, Kurt Jones, all represented for Big Apple Stores and distributed Uncle Rick t-shirts to all that were present with a Rewards tag and that could answer some light Big Apple Rewards trivia.

    Susan Goulet, Loyalty Coodinator, with Matty from the Big Z

GULF Oil and CN Brown Company donate over $10K to MDA of Maine

Friday, June 1, 2018 – Gulf Oil awarded a $10,909.70 donation for CN Brown Company to provide to the charity of choice!  The MDA of Maine was chosen a the recipient of this funding.  CN Brown Company supports and partners in changing the lives of families living with muscle disease.

Pictured, Kurt Jones, President of CN Brown Company, and Jeff Jones, COO of CN Brown Company with MDA of Maine, State Ambassador, Evan Riley.

Meet CN Brown Company’s Stand Out Employees

The following employees were recognized at the CN Brown Company Annual Business Meeting on May 9, 2018,  for their Stand Out Performance in 2017.

Corporate Office Employee of the Year, Scott Morrissette, South Paris, ME

Big Apple Stores Manager of the Year, Wendi Marshall, Lancaster, NH

Transportation Driver of the Year, Cliff Pike, Poland, ME

CN Brown Energy Heating Oil Manager of the Year, Leona Eveson, Lewiston, ME

Most Improved Food Service Location, Gail Pulkkinen, Oxford, ME

Service Station Manager of the Year, Matthew Brewster, Turnpike, ME

Marketing Manager of the Year, Wanda Merrill – NH Region

Heating Oil Driver of the Year, Scott Pingree, Cornish, ME * Scott has received this award for 10+ years!

These are all the STAND OUT Employees for CN Brown Company, 2017.  If you see them in your travels, please give them a round of applause and thank them for a job well done as they are remarkably superior to others and have earned their place on the corporate office wall of fame!  Well done!

Continue to STAND OUT and shine!

2nd Annual Touch A Truck Event- South Paris, Maine

On Saturday, May 19th, CN Brown Energy in South Paris, joined the 2nd Annual Touch-A-Truck event hosted by Community Concepts.  The event was free of charge and well attended!  There were lots of activities in addition to an amazing collection of cool cars and trucks. Face painting, bean bag toss, ring toss, sand box, bubbles, carnival games and more!

Guests that visited our trucks enjoyed over 300 prizes, Big Apple Store balloons and CN Brown Company thermometers.   “The event went really awesome this year“, per office manager, Morgan Kesseli.

We thank Community Concepts for inviting us and the visitors that stopped by to say hello and touch the trucks!


MDA of Maine & CN Brown Company visit The Jackson Laboratory

April 6, 2018 – Ashley King, Executive Director, MDA of Maine:  As the Executive Director of Maine for 6 years, raising money locally to fund a research grant to the caliber of which you have and are executing brings a whole new level of pride that I can’t wait to share with our families, sponsors, and MDA Team. It was a surreal experience of having a Q&A, hearing the work Cat has done with SMA, Robert has done with CMT, and Greg’s “deviant” defining at The Jackson Laboratory.  We are very lucky to have the 3 of you in our corner, fighting against the rare, terrible diseases that the MDA has exposed us to…as are other families and Organizations across the world that you all try to help.

Seeing the investment of our money in the lab yesterday allowed for a whole new appreciation for our staff and the people of CN Brown Company. It is always hard for some to understand the concept of our contribution to research due to the tangibility of our other services that we offer families; clinic visits, DME equipment and Summer Camp to name a few. Yesterday was monumental and I look forward to our next meeting in the Spring/early Summer when our Senior VP, Jeanne Zucker from Cambridge, MA can attend.

I have included Jeanne in along with our Executive Team at MDA. Bill our Regional Director and Karen our Executive VP and Chief Philanthropy Officer. All have formally or currently reside in the Northeast, they would be very proud of the prestige and advancements that I learned of yesterday about The Jackson Laboratory in Maine. The work you all do it truly remarkable, Thank You!

27th Annual CNB & MDA Miracle Ball


Saturday, March 10, 2018 was the 27th Annual CNB & MDA Miracle Ball to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Maine.  The Miracle Ball was held at the Marriott in South Portland, Maine.  The theme chosen this year was Vintage Las Vegas.  The decor of the evening was created by our vendor partners at Identity Group.  Over 300 guests attended the fundraiser.  We had an array of spectacular auction items and raised over $70,000; this was certainly a night to remember!  We thank our host partners from the MDA of Maine, plus all our vendors partners and their guests for attending the Miracle Ball.

Please enjoy the photo gallery below.


Maine Motor Transportation Association Recognizes Transport Driver, Greg Hoyt

January 9, 2018 – In August 2017, Greg Hoyt was recognized by the MMTA as the Driver of the Month.  Greg was nominated for Driver of the Month by Ken Cannell, Director of Transportation.  Greg has 47 years of driving experience; 42 of which have been with CN Brown Company.  Greg was recognized for his 3,000,000 accident free miles.  CN Brown Company’s Transportation Division is proud to share Greg Hoyt’s recognition at the MMTA’s Annual Banquet.  Congratulations on a job well done, Greg!



Cargas Customer Success Story

Founded in 1948, CN Brown Company is a full-service energy provider specializing in electricity, heating fuels, gasoline, diesel, wood pellets, and natural gas. Proudly operating 76 Big Apple convenience stores, 26 heating oil offices, 11 service stations, and more than 100 gasoline dealers, this family-owned company serves more than 65,000 customers across four states, including residential, wholesale, and commercial accounts. Based in South Paris, Maine, CN Brown has positioned itself as a major player in the competitive petroleum market throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

CN Brown strives for customer loyalty and continued growth in a competitive market, so they believe in investing in the right tools for success.

Manual Mayhem

CN Brown last invested in a back-office software solution 20-some years ago, and while the system had served them well, it was quickly becoming out of date and had some functionality gaps that required extra effort from the CN Brown team to fill.

Two areas where CN Brown noticed the software’s limitations the most were truck routing and reporting. Their legacy system had no comprehensive routing capabilities, so much of the process was done manually. Routes were assigned to each customer. Tickets were generated and printed weekly, with the customer zone printed on each ticket. The office team manually sorted the tickets according to zone and then into daily routes for the drivers, but the drivers often re-sorted the tickets to optimize the routes according to their needs.

“They probably spent a good half day on creating [the routes] and then they spent probably an hour every morning before getting the trucks on the road,” explained Lori Smallwood, Administrative Office Manager. “It was a lot of manual work. After the deliveries were completed each day, they had to be keyed manually into the customer accounts. There was a lot of time that went into the paperwork.”

When it came to reporting, the CN Brown team knew their software housed all the data they needed, but getting information out of the system was challenging. Because the software lacked reporting capabilities, a programmer needed to manually pull the desired information from the software’s underlying database.

CN Brown realized the limitations of their software were quickly becoming limitations on their business as a whole.

“I think it kept the managers from trying to grow and obtain new customers,” said Smallwood. “And I think that the lack of the routing caused us to not deliver efficiently, and we couldn’t even take on new customers in harsher than normal Maine winters because we couldn’t make enough deliveries in a day.”

A Solution to Support Growth

 CN Brown sought a more modern piece of technology that would fit their current needs and also support future growth. It was important that the new solution be user-friendly and intuitive with robust routing capabilities. For better customer service and business insight, CN Brown wanted easy access to data within the system, as well as quick and simple reporting functionality.

With the future in mind, CN Brown began exploring their options for a new back-office solution. A round of research and demonstrations brought three applications to the forefront, including Cargas Energy.  CN Brown liked Cargas Energy’s capabilities and functionality, and they liked even more that it was recommended by several partner vendors, as well as existing Cargas Energy customers. There were also benefits that went beyond the software.

“We were impressed with the online training program and the documentation,” said Jeannine Doucette, IT Assistant Manager and Project Manager.

In the end, the final decision was easy.

“It was pretty much unanimous, I believe, when we decided,” said Smallwood. “We felt it was really the most cutting-edge technology.”

 Taking The Plunge

While CN Brown was excited by the possibilities of their chosen solution, they were not without reservations about the implementation process. The implementation of their legacy heating oil software took a year to complete and a recent conversion of their Wholesale/Transport system took two years to complete. With their Cargas Energy go-live date scheduled for June, they were dreading the impact of such a drastic change on their busy winter season. With this implementation, it was the partnership with the Cargas team that made all the difference.

“I think they really changed our perspective on a new conversion because they’re so laid back and were always there to help us. We trained as we went along, and it was just awesome,” said Kris Cannell, Accounts Receivable Manager.

“They just came in and managed it and kept us on task,” added Smallwood. “And we felt confident in them and here we are, it was successful. And the ongoing support is great.”

Doucette added that Cargas made managing the conversion easier than she expected.

 Total Transformation

“Totally different” is the way the CN Brown team describes their experience with Cargas Energy versus their legacy software.

With Cargas Energy’s reporting capabilities, now anyone in the company can run a report or write a query and have instant access to information rather than relying on a programmer to compile it from the software’s database.

The software has also helped CN Brown provide a better experience for their customers. For customer service reps, customer information is available from one screen within Cargas Energy, allowing them easy access to account information without having to search through layers of screens as with their legacy software.

“Another key thing is the delivery tickets are already priced and printed and legible,” said Cannell. “Whereas before our drivers were hand writing pricing, and they had to know each specific customer’s terms. This has been a big timesaver for the drivers and improved the accuracy and look of the delivery tickets.”

But the biggest change has come from Cargas Energy’s routing capabilities, which have enhanced CN Brown’s growth potential by improving delivery efficiency. With Cargas Energy optimizing delivery routes and delivery forecasting, as well as allowing for real-time changes and updates, CN Brown’s drivers have increased their daily average of deliveries. In their first heating oil season with Cargas Energy, C. N. Brown delivered 5% more gallons in 2% fewer driver hours and 3% fewer truck miles. There was a 2% increase in deliveries per hour and an 8% increase in deliveries per mile.

“It is proven that we are delivering more efficiently for sure,” said Smallwood.

By improving delivery efficiency, CN Brown has opened the door to growing their customer base and their company successfully. With the right technology in place, and the support of a great partner, CN Brown is ready to take on the future.