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Lou Perrine's Gas & Grocery Exits the Convenience Channel

The independent family business opened its doors nearly seven decades ago.
Lou Perrine's Gas & Grocery

KENOSHA, Wis. — Lou Perrine's Gas & Grocery, a well-known independent convenience store retailer in Kenosha, ended operations on July 11 after nearly 70 years in business. The retailer's two locations were sold to an unnamed Indianapolis-based investment firm following four years of discussions.

Lou Perrine Sr. opened the business as a full-service Clark station in 1954. His son Lou Perrine Jr., who took over the company in 1985 before handing the reins over to his own son, announced on social media that third-generation owner Anthony Perrine made the decision to sell in part to facilitate a retirement for Anthony's mother Laurie.

"It was not just selling the stores but Anthony felt it was time for his mom Laurie (Mama P) to take a long and will deserved retirement. Not only did she do the bookkeeping for our business in the basement of our Sheridan Road location, but she was the backbone to our success," reflected Lou Perrine Jr. "Going up and down those stairs 10 to 15 times a day the past 40 years."

The sale includes the original Lou Perrine's Gas & Grocery station at 5145 Sheridan Road in Kenosha and a new store located at 8004 22nd Ave. The Perrine family retained ownership of the brand name Lou Perrine's Gas & Groceries and Mama P's Cake, a locally famous staple of the c-store chain.

In 2016, Lou Perrine's Gas & Grocery won a Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner Store Design Contest award in the Best Single-Store Low-Cost Remodel category.

Following the announcement, Wisconsin State Sen. Bob Wirch (D-Somers) issued a statement of support for the Perrine family and fondness for the brand.

"What a bittersweet day. Lou Perrine's isn't just a store in Kenosha; Lou Perrine's IS Kenosha," Wirch said. "People from all over know about Lou Perrine's, and while I'm sad to hear that Lou, Anthony, Laurie and the entire crew won't be running the show anymore, I'm happy that they reached a deal that was good for the family and will provide Lou and Laurie with a well-earned retirement.

Wirch called Lou Perrine's an "iconic Kenosha brand" for both the way the business was run and its many contributions to Kenosha and southeast Wisconsin.

Lou Perrine Jr. thanked the business's many employees — more than 5,000 throughout the life of the company — as well as all the customers that supported it over the years.

"My dad always said you're not customers to us but family," Perrine said. "We hope over the years we treated our customers and staff with the same philosophy my dad had 68 years ago."

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