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Iowa History Daily: November 2 - Tony Gentle of Kum & Go

Iowa History Daily: On November 2, 1913, Tony Gentle was born. Co-founder of popular Iowa convenience store chain Kum & Go, Gentle helped to create one of Iowa’s most iconic brands while helping to pioneer the convenience store concept.

In 1959, Tony Gentle bought a gas station in Hampton, Iowa, and started a partnership with his son-in-law, W. A. "Bill" Krause. The first station, known as the Hampton Oil Company, proved successful and the two men eventually formed the Krause Gentle Corporation. In 1963, Krause Gentle started selling both fuel and merchandise items, in changing the Hampton Oil Company gas station into a "station store".

Over the 1960s, the Krause Gentle Corporation expanded holdings by buying up gas stations and converting them to the convenience store model. The Kum & Go name, adopted in 1975, unified the company's array of stores under a single brand. The name, a play on the phrase "come and go,” used the initials of founders Krause and Gentle.

In 1988, Krause Gentle moved the company's corporate headquarters to West Des Moines. Kum & Go rapidly expanded in the late 1990s and early 2000s by building new stores and acquiring unwanted stores from chains 7-Eleven, QuikTrip, and Git 'n' Go. Sales of Kum & Go-branded merchandise spiked after Johnny Knoxville wore a black Kum & Go T-shirt with the tagline "We go all out!" during a scene in the 2006 movie. Today, the company is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa and operates 400 stores in 13 states. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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