Co-Founder of Convenient Food Marts Passes Away at 82

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Co-Founder of Convenient Food Marts Passes Away at 82


LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Joe P. Peden, co-founder of Convenient Food Marts and former NACS president, passed away on Aug. 29 at the age of 82 following a 20-year battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In 1959, Peden and his brother Don moved from Hopkinsville, Ky., to Louisville, Ky., to open Convenient Food Marts. The business later became known as CONNA Corp., an operator and franchisor of 400-plus convenience stores and more than 300 self-service gasoline outlets in several states.

Joe Peden served as president and CEO of CONNA until the business was sold in 1986.

Peden also served the c-store industry by joining the NACS' board of directors in 1975. He served as NACS president in 1983. When making his incoming presidential speech in 1982, Peden urged the industry to reach for greater goals.

"The challenge I give you is to be innovative," he said, according to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. "Be the first on your block to try something new. Don't be the last store in the industry to adopt a new and better way. Being last may be safe. But it is seldom profitable."

In addition to NACS, Peden served as the president of the Louisville Chamber of Commerce.

Peden is survived by his brother Donald; Mary G. Eades Peden, his wife of 58 years; his children, Jeffrey Peden, Terry Widner, Mary Kathleen Allen and Melinda Simpson; and his grandchildren, Adam Allen, Kellye West, Ryan and Darcy Simpson and Bailey Widner.

A memorial service is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Westport Road Church of Christ in Louisville at 11 a.m., with visitation hours spanning from 9 a.m. until the service begins.