Couche-Tard Pushes U.S. Expansion

When Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. was presented with CSD’s Chain of the Year honors in 2007, the company’s smart, strong growth was cited as the foundation for the honor. A little more than two years later and not much has changed. The company is still regarded as one of the savviest marketers in two countries, and

Valero Rises to the Top

At a Glance: Valero Energy Corp. Valero operates 16 refineries and seven ethanol plants stretching from California to Canada to the Caribbean. The San Antonio-based operator generated more than $119 billion in revenues in 2008 with total assets of $34.3 billion. Other company highlights include: •Number of Employees: Approximately 22,000 •Refining Throughput Capacity: 3.1 million

7-Eleven Continues Reinventing Convenience

7-Eleven Inc., the world’s largest operator, franchisor and licensor of convenience stores, was named Chain of the Year in 2005. The stores got their iconic name in the 1940s because they were open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., which was considered extended hours in those days. By the ‘60s, lifestyles were changing, and consumers

Organic Growth Drives Kwik Trip

In 2004, CSD awarded La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. with the Chain of the Year award recognizing a company that values people and forays into new technology, combining business and energy intelligence to save dollars. CSD also was impressed with Kwik Trip’s use of vertical integration to control the products and support functions that

Changes Abound at ExxonMobil

Since winning CSD’s Chain of the Year award in 2003, Exxon Mobil Corp. has been busy, beefing up it’s foodservice program at On the Run stores, then forming a new strategy that moves away from direct-store operations and beating out Wal-Mart for the top spot on the Fortune 500 list. But it’s the changes at

Neighbours to the North

Since receiving CSD’s Chain OF THE YEAR award in 2002, Petro-Canada has seen multiple changes. The most significant has been the merger between Suncor Energy Inc. and Petro-Canada, which was finalized in August of this year. While the company operates under the Suncor Energy name, it maintains the trusted Petro-Canada brand for its refined products

Employee-Owned and Profiting

Huck’s Mission Be the preferred convenience store that is a primary destination for: • Total Customer Focus • Happy, Friendly Owners • Always Fresh, Quality Food and Drinks • No Worries, Quality Fuels at Competitive Prices • Karing for Kids • Squeaky Clean Restrooms In 1960, two friends, Bob Martin and Frank Bayley, formed a

Riding the Hess Express

The first Hess gas station was opened in 1960, and the first Hess Express opened in 1997 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Hess Express was named Chain of the Year nine years ago amidst its aggressive southern retail expansion. “When we were recognized with the Chain of the Year award in 2000, we had about 900

Growth, Innovation Propel Kum & Go

It’s been an eventful five decades for Kum & Go, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Entrepreneurs W.A. Krause and T.S. Gentle founded Kum & Go in 1959 under the original name of the Hampton Oil Co., which later changed to Krause Gentle Corp. In the 1970s, the co-founders wanted a name that would

MAPCO’s New Direction

Great stores, outstanding service and a commitment to its people helped MAPCO Express garner Chain of the Year honors in 1996. The company has changed quite a bit since then, but the focus on convenience store operations remains stronger than ever. MAPCO Express, as it exists today, was formed with Delek US Holdings’ acquisition of

Innovation a Hallmark at Sheetz

In 1952, Bob Sheetz purchased an Altoona, Pa., dairy store, one of five retail operations owned by his father. His second store opened its doors in 1963 and the third opened five years later. By 1969, Bob’s brother Steve was serving as general manager, and the pair decided to open one store each year through

Catering to the Community

It was 1968 when Don Lamberti purchased a Boone, Iowa service station and converted it into a convenience store, launching what would eventually grow into the thriving chain known as Casey’s General Stores. By the end of its first decade, Casey’s had more than 100 locations, plus its own warehouse. To meet its growing business

Employees Fuel QuikTrip’s Success

QuikTrip Corp.,  the Oklahoma-based convenience retailer, opened for business in 1958 with a single store and second-hand furnishings. Today, the chain is made up of 532 convenience stores across nine states, all of them open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The privately-held, family-owned business has approximately 10,000 employees, who reportedly enjoy their

Speedway SuperAmerica Presents a Unified Front

SuperAmerica won CSD’s Chain of the Year award in 1991, and Speedway was recognized with that honor six years later. In 1998, the two convenience store chains merged to form Speedway SuperAmerica LLC, which is owned by Marathon Oil Corp. Today, Speedway SuperAmerica, which is based in Enon, Ohio, is made up of more than

Wawa Guided by Rich History

The seeds for Wawa convenience stores were sown in 1902 when George Wood started a dairy with a small herd of cows and a processing/bottling plant in Wawa, Pa. Using the slogan “Buy Health by the Bottle,” the business grew throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a team of milk men delivered dairy products directly

Nice & Envied

Mission accomplished. When John MacDougall challenged his team at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes to come up with a company mission statement, he left pretty simple instructions. “Keep it short, keep it focused and let’s be true to ourselves,” he said. The result was a concise proclamation of the chain’s commitment to the customers it

Building a Strong Team

It’s been quite a year for Valerie Conley. On the heels of being named Nice N Easy Manager of The Year, she received a promotion to district manager, her former store in Carthage, N.Y. was honored as Retail Store of the Year by the Carthage Chamber of Commerce and she is about to graduate with

Meeting the Demand for Meat Snacks

Meat snack manufacturers are going after the teen demographic, solidifying them as the product’s target audience, and introducing new flavors and varieties to meet the changing needs of consumers. Many retailers agree flavored meat sticks are driving the category. “Flavors products are strong right now whether it’s the hot, teriyaki or the smoked,” said Bill

Clifford Fuel Takes it Nice N Easy

As one of the largest franchisees of the Nice N Easy convenience store brand, Clifford Fuel Co. Inc., a petroleum marketer and c-store retailer throughout central and northern New York, pairs the brand recognition and reach of a large c-store chain with the more intimate management of a small franchise. Founded in 1961, the Utica,

Nice Guys Do Finish First

Congratulations to Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, Convenience Store Decisions’ 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. The Chain of the Year award remains the oldest and most prestigious award in the industry. This year is our 20th anniversary of presenting the distinction to a deserving chain and we’re honored to have recognized some of

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