Take a glance in the rearview mirror and see just how much road less traveled the company's taken in its nearly 50 year history.
W.A. Krause and T.S. Gentle founded the Kum & Go, L.C. on September 1, 1959. When the two Hampton entrepreneurs opened their small full-service gas station, they couldn't have known it was only the beginning of a business which would become known for unmatched ingenuity and courageous risk-taking.
In 1963, based on a desire to further serve customers, Kum & Go, L.C. introduced the convenience store concept by offering fuel and merchandise – converting their "gas station" into a "station store."
In 1964, Kum & Go, L.C. entered the trucking business with the purchase of Solar Transport.
The gasoline shortage of the 1970s prompted Kum & Go to find other opportunities to expand, including the purchase of a snowmobile distribution company.
By late 1977, Kum & Go, L.C. had grown to 65 convenience stores employing 327 people.
In the early 1980s, Chieftain Corporation was started to provide long-term Kum & Go associates with the opportunity to own and operate convenience stores as stockholders. Started with a $5,000 investment, the Chieftain Corporation is now worth $500,000.
The 1980s brought further innovations in convenience with the addition of quick serve restaurants – including Blimpie, Taco John's and Burger King – in several stores and full-service banking adjacent to eleven key stores.
In 1988, the headquarters were moved from Hampton to West Des Moines – the fastest growing city in Iowa. Corporate decisions could now be made from the central part of the state and country.
By the end of the 80's, Kum & Go had 134 stores providing convenience across the Midwest.
In late 1995, the Kum & Go implemented a strategic plan called Vision 2000 with the projected goals of serving 35 million customers and adding an average of one new c-store per month over the next five years. The company quickly blew away these benchmarks.
In 1996, K&G opened 22 new stores.
In 1997, the company opened 14 new stores.
In 1998, Kum & Go added 122 new stores.
In early 1999, the company capped a decade of phenomenal growth with the acquisition of an additional 45 stores.
In 2002, Iowa gained another 12 stores, including 7 in Des Moines, 2 in Fort Dodge and one each in Oskaloosa, Carroll and Grinnell.
In 2003, the company entered into a unique business partnership with CENEX Energy. Leveraging its extensive
c-store experience, Kum & Go assumed the primary role of managing 36 CENEX stores – in South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa and Wyoming – as dual-branded units.
Bill and Kyle Krause
As of today …The pioneering spirit of Kum & Go’s founders continues to drive the company forward into the future. Currently the 18th largest c-store chain in the United States, Kum & Go operates more than 430 stores in 12 states throughout the Midwest. Thanks to the efforts of its more than 3,600 associates, Kum & Go continues to strive for excellence in customer service and convenience – serving more than 360,000 customers on any given day.