By Christine Graf
Albany-based Noble Gas Solutions is planning to open a third location at 15 Third St. in South Glens Falls.
The wholesale distributor of gasses and welding supplies also has a location in Kingston. Noble Gas was founded in 1940 as Albany Welding Supply Co. and owner J. David Mahoney worked there for 10 years before purchasing the business in 1986.
Approximately 60 percent of the company’s sales are generated from the gas arm of the business, he said. Noble Gas sells medical, specialty, industrial, and consumer gasses as well as gas and cryogenic packaging. Their packaging product line includes cylinders, tanks, manifolds, and liquid cryogenic dewars.
“We started by getting into selling specialty gasses for universities and for laboratories, and it just evolved. We sell so many different gasses. We sell helium to florists, gasses to veterinary clinics and pharmaceuticals. It’s very diverse,” said Mahoney.
Noble Gas also carries a full line of welding, metalworking, soldering, brazing, and fume elimination supplies.
The company sells, rents and repairs welding machines.
“We supply manufacturing companies. People like Miller Mechanical, Doty Machine Works, Stonebridge Iron. We also deal with a lot of construction companies,” he said.
The company also manufactures and sells dry ice. The quality of dry ice diminishes with time, so purchasing it directly from a manufacturer ensures maximum freshness, according to the company.
“Dry ice is a niche, so you want to have enough of a business opportunity to make the investment in the equipment,” said Mahoney.
He expects dry ice sales to increase as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine must be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and is shipped in dry ice.
“We have had many conversations with the Empire State Development and State of New York about our production capabilities,” he said.
Mahoney’s decision to open a store in South Glens Falls occurred after Taylor Welding Supply sold its 22 Lower Warren St. business to Airgas in June. Airgas is a leading distributor of gasses and had more than 900 locations.
“Air Gas is the 9,000-pound gorilla,” said Mahoney. “When Taylor sold to them, we felt it left a void and opportunity in the Glens Falls market for us to enter. It eliminated an independent in that market, and we’re really excited about being part of that market.”
After a search of nearby properties, Noble Gas settled on the Third Street property. It is owned by Elizabeth Miller, owner of Miller Mechanical and Doty Machine Works.
“It’s right off of Route 9 and we thought it was a great spot,” said Mahoney. “We are in the process of renovating the building. It’s going to be really nice when we are done. We have the whole 6,000-square-foot building. We will have a store which will be about 1,700 square feet with offices, a break room and a bathroom and a 3,000-square-foot warehouse.”
The store will be staffed by three employees who were previous employees of Taylor Welding Supply and two people from the company’s existing sales reps staff.
The company will have a total of 40 employees at its three locations and expects to open locally by February.
By Christine Graf