Kum & Go: A Company History

1950s — Two Hampton entrepreneurs, W.A. Krause and T.S. Gentle, founded Kum & Go (KG) September 1, 1959 under the original name of the Hampton Oil Company. At the time they couldn’t have known they were creating not only a profitable business, but also a legacy of unmatched ingenuity and courageous risk-taking. The business began as a small gas station in Hampton with full service gas and infallible customer service.

1960s — With hard work and foresight, Mr. Krause and Mr. Gentle saw no limits. In 1963, Krause and Gentle converted gas stations into convenience stores with fuel and merchandise. The concept was based on their desire to further serve customers. The Krause Gentle Corporation was the third Iowa company to receive a beer license for convenience stores.

1970s — Mr. Krause and Mr. Gentle wanted a name that would symbolically represent the two families’ partnership, as well as promote the speed of service available to customers. Each family member brainstormed possible company names. The family used the combination of the first letter of each last name – K & G. Kum & Go was born and the rest is history.

By late 1977, Kum & Go had grown to 65 convenience store locations and employed 327 people.

1980s — In the early 1980s, the Chieftain Corporation was started, providing long-term KG associates with an opportunity to own and operate convenience stores as shareholders.

Kum & Go expanded its customer services by constructing quick serve restaurants in its convenience stores. Kum & Go contracted with Blimpie, Taco John’s, Subway and Burger King.

In 1988, Kum & Go headquarters were moved from Hampton to West Des Moines. This pivotal relocation allowed for corporate decisions to be made from the central part of the state and country. By the end of 1989, 134 Kum & Go stores provided convenience across the Midwest.

1990s — In November 1995, the company implemented a strategic plan called Vision 2000. The goal was clear: by the end of the year 2000, Kum & Go stores were projected to reach $200 million in sales, 35 million customers and an average of one new convenience store per month. Kum & Go reached $200 million in sales as the books were closed October 1997. KG surpassed the goal of opening one new store per month in both 1996 and 1997. Twenty-two new stores were opened in 1996 and 14 stores were opened in 1997. In 1998, Kum & Go doubled its growth with the acquisition of more than 100 stores. Computers were added to the stores to further efficiencies and reporting methods.

2000s — Kum & Go continued its strategic focus on dynamic growth through store acquisitions and new construction. In 2004, Kum & Go acquired 68 Git-n-Go convenience stores in Oklahoma and Missouri.

Today — Kum & Go is considered a pioneer in the convenience store industry, built on the strong work ethic of its founders. Kum & Go is the 22nd largest convenience store chain and ranked among the top 10 privately-held convenience store chains in the United States. The corporation includes more than 420 Kum & Go convenience stores in 13 states (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Colorado, Arkansas, Wyoming and Wisconsin). Kum & Go currently employs 3,500 associates.

Kum & Go’s Private Label Brand
Kum & Go offers a wide selection of proprietary products under the well-known Hiland brand name including gourmet coffee, water, potato chips, sandwiches and other snacks.

Kum & Go Sister Companies
Solar Transport
Solar Transport is the largest Iowa-based refined fuel transporter. Solar Transport operates 90 tractors and 175 trailers in 11 Midwest states and is licensed to operate in 48 states. Visit www.solartransport.com for more information about this company.

Liberty Bank
Liberty Bank is Iowa’s fastest growing bank. Liberty Bank has 17 locations in Iowa and Illinois, with more than $650 million in assets. Visit libertybankfsb.com for additional information.

Des Moines Menace
Des Moines Menace, a Premier Development League soccer club. Visit menacesoccer.com for more information.

Teamwork Acres
Teamwork Acres is a collection of farms that includes land and a cow/calf operation. It also is the location for many Kum & Go corporate events and meetings.