Head of Wisconsin’s Favorite C-Store Steps Down But Leaves a Secret in Every Store
If you’ve driven any length of time in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Iowa, there’s a good chance you've been to one of Kwik Trips' 800+ stores.
Even if you've made many trips to a Kwik Trip (or Kwik Star as they're known in Iowa due to copyright issues) you probably had no idea about this tribute to their owner, Don Zietlow.
It's been right under your nose the whole time! Or at least for the past few years.
Kwik Trip Has Actual Fans
How does a gas station acquire fans? Sure it could be their high-quality customer service and “consumer-focused” shopping experience. But there's something else, perhaps intangible, that turns customers into fans.
The "Wisconsin Kwik Trip Enthusiast Club" Facebook group currently has 108.4K members. Their group members have gotten Kwik Trip tattoos and even gotten married inside a KT.
Kwik Star Owner Don Zietlow is Stepping Down
One of the reasons for the fandom is their owner, Don Zietlow. According to CSNews.com, after 22 years as President and CEO, Don Zietlow is retiring, effective December 31, 2022.
"Kwik Trip's chair of the board and second-generation owner Scott Zietlow will succeed Don Zietlow, effective Jan. 1, 2023. He will retire from his role as a professor of surgery in the Trauma, Critical Care and General Surgery Division of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to assume his new responsibilities at Kwik Trip."
Yes, a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic is stepping down from his role to run a "gas station," which proves this is no ordinary gas station.
Quite a Tribute
Don Zietlow has made quite a mark on his community and his employees. He was the reason 40 percent of the company's profits were split between all co-workers.
The smiley face he was known for drawing is now emblazoned on the bottom of the company's Nature's Touch brand milk jugs.
A fitting tribute.