Minit Mart

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It all started in 1967, when Fred Higgins and his father Ralph founded a little place called Minit Mart. Fred was in law school at the University of.. read more Kentucky, but by the time he graduated in 1969, he had expanded the operation to six stores in the Lexington area. After Fred’s return from the Army in 1972, Minit Mart Foods was incorporated with 16 stores — a pretty notable achievement, but one that was only beginning. He started to acquire single convenience stores and select sites on which to build new Minit Marts, and by 1988 Minit Mart had expanded its business to Tennessee when it acquired 19 Bread Box convenience stores there. Minit Mart was among the first convenience stores to add gas pumps, an innovation that has changed the way Americans buy gasoline. That pioneering spirit lives on, as Minit Mart has been at the forefront of adding delis, game machines and videotape rentals. Co-founder Ralph Higgins played an active role in the management of Minit Mart Foods Inc. until his death in 1987. A year later, Minit Mart was operating 87 stores in Kentucky and Tennessee. O’Deli’s sub shops, Godfather’s Pizza, Taco Bell Express and Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream were part of many locations — grossing $250 million dollars annually and employing approximately 1,200 people. After losing his wife of 25 years to a 20-year battle with cancer in 1998, then industry consolidation in 1999 and 2000, Fred and the management team felt it was time make a change. In 2001, Minit Mart Foods leased its operations to Clark Retail, retaining ownership of the assets. Besides operating their original 600 stores, Clark also acquired several other chains in the Midwest area growing to approximately 1,200 stores. Competition, however, was intense, and Clark eventually ended up in bankruptcy; 37 stores were returned to Minit Mart. On August 6, 2003, Fred’s Minit Mart LLC was set up to take over the operation. Soon after, 34 stores remained, and a brilliant management team was assembled. Today, the stores are a combination of convenience and grocery shopping while featuring Marathon gasoline; 24 of our stores offer O’Deli’s sub shops and Godfather’s Pizza.
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