Kum & Go
is a convenience store
chain primarily located in the Midwestern United States
. The company, based in West Des Moines, Iowa
, operates over 430 stores in 12 states -- primarily in its home state of Iowa
-- as of 2008. Kum & Go was ranked as the 21st-largest convenience store chain in the United States by Convenience Store News
The chain was founded by William A. Krause and Tony S. Gentle, who founded the Hampton Oil Company in Hampton, Iowa
, in 1959. Hampton Oil eventually became the Krause Gentle Corporation
, which is Kum & Go's parent company. In 1963, Krause Gentle introduced the company's first convenience stores, selling both fuel and merchandise items, in which they changed their gas station into a "station store".
The Kum & Go name, which was adopted during the 1970s, is a play on the phrase "come and go" using the initials of Krause and Gentle. Sales of Kum & Go merchandise, which the company offers on its website, increased after Johnny Knoxville was seen wearing a Kum & Go T-shirt during a scene in the 2006 movie Jackass Number Two.
In 1988, Krause Gentle moved the company's corporate headquarters to its current location in West Des Moines, Iowa
. William Krause's son, Kyle, is the current CEO
of Krause Gentle. Kum & Go went through a period of rapid expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In addition to building new stores, Krause Gentle acquired unwanted stores from chains such as 7-Eleven
, and Git 'n' Go and converted them to Kum & Go stores. In 2007 and 2008 Kum & Go auctioned
off more than 40 of its smaller stores in order to focus on building larger stores ranging in size from 3,600 to 5,000 square feet.
In 2007, Kum & Go ranked 306th on Forbes magazine's list of the largest private companies in the United States, ranking third to Hy-Vee and Pella among companies based in Iowa.
In addition to Kum & Go, the Krause Gentle Corporation operates Liberty Bank, the Des Moines Menace soccer team, Solar Transport (a refined fuel transporter), and Teamwork Acres (a collection of farms in Clarke, Madison, and Warren counties in Iowa). The Krause family was also involved with the Swing of the Quad Cities baseball team until selling the franchise in late 2007.