Convenient Food Mart Operator Is Kentucky’s C-store of the Year

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Bill Shanks, owner of Convenient Food Mart #175 in Versailles, Ky., was honored as the 2012 Kentucky Convenience Store of the Year by the Kentucky Grocers Association/Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores (KGA/KACS).

Shanks accepted his award during the organization's 71st annual awards luncheon, held Nov. 14. During his acceptance speech, he said he owes much of the success of his store to the employees and especially store manager Pam Trejo, who has worked with him for 25 years.

Shanks began his career in the convenience and grocery industries at the age of 15, working as a bagger at the local Food Giant in Detroit. While attending the University of Kentucky, he was hired by Eddie White, owner of several Convenient Food Marts in Lexington, Ky.

Upon graduating from the University of Kentucky and with a lack of opportunities for teaching jobs at that time, Shanks accepted a manager training position with Louisville-based Convenient Industries of America, franchisor of Convenient Food Marts in much of Kentucky. He worked in several corporate-owned stores in the Louisville area before transferring to Versailles in 1976.

In 1977, thanks to a loan from his in-laws, Shanks and his wife Margaret purchased the store they still own and operate today. In 1998, their store became an independent business.

Along the way, Shanks has received additional awards in recognition of his outstanding store operations. He was previously honored as the 1982 Convenient Food Mart Inc. Operator of the Year and the 1991 Franchisee of the Year for Dairy Mart Inc.

In addition to working at the store, Shanks is an active member of KGA/KACS and has participated in the organization's annual trip to Washington, D.C., for meetings with U.S. congressional representatives. He also has been involved with a number of community organizations, including the Woodford County Planning and Zoning's Board of Adjustments, Woodford County EDA, Woodford Chamber of Commerce, Woodford County Library, Citizens Commerce National Bank in Versailles, and the Versailles Presbyterian Church.

Shanks and his wife live on their Woodford County farm and have a daughter, Megan.

The Kentucky Grocers Association and Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores is a joint statewide trade association representing approximately 450 member companies operating in a retail food and convenience marketplace of 3,300 locations across the state. Membership includes retailers, wholesalers, distributors and related suppliers to the grocery, supermarket and convenience store industries.

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