TULSA, Okla., & WAWA, Pa. — QuikTrip Corp. (QT) and Wawa Inc. are both celebrating major milestones in April as their store counts reach four digits.
QT is opening its 1,000th location in Converse, Texas, this week after 65 years in business, far surpassing founder Chester Cadieux's dream of opening 10 convenience stores.
Cadieux and his classmate and business partner Burt Holmes opened the first QT in 1958. By 1971, the company had achieved significant growth and went from 85 c-stores to 117 when it merged with another retailer.
QT reached 400 locations in 2002 and 500 locations in 2008. In recent years, it has made a push to build a network of remote travel centers, which are designed for highly trafficked areas of the country, feature expanded QT Kitchens concepts, and accommodate more gas pumps and diesel bats.
The c-store operator also opened its first locations in Colorado and Mississippi within the last year and has plans to enter Chicago with at least three stores in the metropolitan area.
Headquartered in Tulsa, QT has grown to a more than $11 billion company with 1,000 stores in 17 states. It currently employs more than 24,000 staff members and has earned a Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award, placing it on the list of the Best Places to Work in 2021.
Meanwhile, Wawa will open its 1,000th store in Oaklyn, N.J., on April 27. To celebrate, the retailer will give away free coffee all day and give away free t-shirts to the first 1,000 customers.
The festivities come soon after Wawa gave away free coffee across its network on April 13, Wawa Day, to celebrate its 59th anniversary.
The company first began operations with a single store in Folsom, Pa., and has since expanded up and down the eastern United States. The company's upcoming growth plans include market entrances in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky along with a push to expand its network in the Southeast. Wawa's goal is to double its footprint within the next decade.
Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates 1,000 c-stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.