Kum and Go can trace its roots back to 1959 when William Krause and Tony Gentle founded the Hamptom Oil Company. This later became the Krause Gentle Corporation and in 1963, the company introduced their first convenience stores at their gas stations.
The name Kum and Go, a play on the word “come” using the Krause and Gentle initials, was adopted in 1975 to unify all of the convenience stores under a single name. Part of the company’s franchise success was due in part to a unique marketing campaign in which they featured the Kum & Go “Gold cup”. The cup was introduced in late 2008 for the holiday season. It featured an 8oz coffee mug for $50.00 and benefitted customers by offering unlimited coffee and soda fountain refills for 2009 at any Kum & Go location.
Company headquarters moved to Des Moine, Iowa, in 1988. The company underwent tremendous expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Today, there are 400 locations in 11 states. Convenience Store News listed Kum and Go as the 23rd largest convenience store chain in 2010.
In addition to gasoline, motor oil, and other automotive supplies, the company is known for its merchandise, which features their logo, including t-shirts, mugs, and baseball caps with built-in bottle openers.
William’s grandson’s Kyle and Tanner Krause are now in charge of the daily operations for the company. Tanner Krause stated in an interview that knowing he is responsible for the livelihood of the more than 5,000 employees of the company makes him think hard before making any major decisions.
Company headquarters are located at the Krause Center in Des Moine, Iowa.