Quik Mart Founder Wes Little Passes Away

TUCSON, Ariz. — Just before its 50th anniversary year, Quik Mart Stores said goodbye to founder Wesley "Wes" Little, a third-generation grocer who launched the chain in January 1965. Little passed away Dec. 30, according to an Arizona Daily Starreport.

Little was born in Portales, N.M., and started out as a butcher for the family store. In 1954, he and his wife Jean opened Fry Stores in Fry, N.M., which is now Sierra Vista, N.M. In 1962, they merged their stores with Sharps Market before moving again to Tucson.

Little served as president of the Retail Grocers Association of Arizona, which is now known as the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, and was named Grocer of the Year in 1985. In 1999, he was inducted into the Arizona Food Industry Hall of Fame.

Little was involved with his church and with local associations such as the Executive Association of Tucson, the DM50, the Fiesta Bowl and the Rotary Club, according to the news report. He previously served as president of the Pinetop Country Club and was a member of the Mountain Oyster Club board at the time of his death.

Little was also an avid supporter of the University of Arizona Wildcat Club for more than 50 years, and attended most football and basketball games.

Today, Tucson-based Quik Mart Stores has 26 locations in Pima County, Ariz., and is owned and operated by Little's children, President Troy Little and Vice President Shelly Little Gibbons.