About Luke Oil
Our Company History
In 1967, Ralph Luke (1931-2007) founded Luke Oil in Hobart, Indiana as a supplier of home heating fuel. Ralph Luke was born and raised in Hobart, Indiana along with his four brothers and one sister. After graduating from Hobart High School, Ralph spent time overseas in the Air Force. Upon his return, he went to work for Van Senus Oil. With the help of Bill Van Senus, Ralph would go on to purchase Van Senus and start Luke Oil Company. His greatest asset was his personality and his ability to inspire others. Humbled by his success and fortune, Ralph never relocated, staying loyal to Northwest Indiana and its institutions.
By 1980, Luke had transitioned into a fuel supplier for gas stations. By 1990, Luke was one of the largest fuel suppliers in Northwest Indiana and had started purchasing convenience stores. By 2001, Luke had acquired over 30 convenience stores and had started to diversify into other industries. In 2006, Luke purchased the County Line Orchard in Hobart, Indiana.
Today, Luke is a third-generation, family-owned company that has diversified into various commercial divisions.
Luke Oil Officers
Thomas M. Collins, Sr., CEO and president of Luke Oil, began working for his father-in-law, Ralph Luke, in 1980. Tom worked side by side with Ralph to grow Luke Oil into the business it is today. Tom was personally responsible for Luke Oil's north Lake County growth strategy in the late 1990's. Today, Tom spends most of his time managing and growing the wholesale fuel and transportation businesses. Tom is also active in the company's future growth plans, real estate development, and investment opportunities. Tom is married and has two children and nine grandchildren.
Thomas M. Collins II, Vice President of Retail Operations, started with Luke Oil in 1999 after graduating from Indiana University. Tom is responsible for retail operations, commercial construction, acquisitions, and investor relationships. Tom is married and has five children.
Ryan Richardson, Vice President of Luke Oil, started with Luke Oil in 2001 after graduating from Purdue University. Ryan is responsible for orchard operations, real estate development, and commercial construction. Ryan is the son-in-law of Tom Collins, Sr., and has five children.
The family has always been, and continues to be, very close and supportive of each other, working in a trusting relationship, both personally and in business.
Looking Ahead For Luke
Our goals and commitment to our customers:
- Strive to be #1 in our industry
- Continue to grow by adding additional retail stores
- Add a food commissary and a farm market co-op
- Start a community garden program
- Start art & music classes and programs for the community
Luke is committed to the development of their people, serving to recruit and retain high quality individuals by promoting its mission and vision statements. It will continue to provide quality growth opportunities for partners and associates who qualify by adopting its qualifying principles. Luke will continue to be the preferred place of employment in the industries they serve as they strive to be one of the top places to work in Northwest Indiana.
Luke plans to continue to grow by adding new retail stores. Luke also plans to further develop the County Line Orchard by adding a food commissary, farm-market co-op, community garden program, art and music classes and programs as well as becoming a small business incubator for farm market products and services and improving the educational component of current school programs. In 2009, they completed the development of a 25,000 square-foot barn to host weddings, events, and conventions, thereby creating a setting to host philanthropic and community events.
Luke In The Community
Luke is dedicated to giving back to the community it serves. Luke sponsors and donates to more than 20 different charities, averaging more than $100,000 in charitable contributions per year.
Luke participates in sponsorship of Leon's Triathlon. The first Leon's Triathlon was held in Hobart, IN and was held there year after year until it outgrew the venue. Luke sponsors Leon's Triathlon, now located in Hammond, IN.
Luke and County Line Orchard sponsor an annual Trick or Treat Night at County Line Orchard. The Luke Companies donate all of the candy and on average about 4,000 Trick or Treaters attend. A portion of the proceeds go to help local children who benefit from the Portage Kiwanis Club.
Luke has been providing Education Grants for Calumet College for more than ten (10) years. For many years, Luke has also been a large supporter of United Way and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
The Luke Companies are active in the local communities and strive to be a committed corporate citizen.