Short Stop Food Marts Named Kentucky C-Store of the Year

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Jeff Holbrook, president and CEO of Short Stop Food Marts was presented the 2010 Kentucky Convenience Store of the Year award by the Kentucky Grocers Association (KGA) and the Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores (KACS) at their annual meeting and industry awards dinner held late last week.

The award recipient is determined by the KGA/KACS board of directors and based on an individual's outstanding contribution to his or her family, community and the good of the convenience store and convenience distribution industries in Kentucky. The Kentucky Convenience Store of the Year Award was established in 2008 as a separate association award recognizing the convenience store industry in Kentucky.

"Jeff has always been the leader the KGA/KACS board turns to with questions about our bylaws and how our organization actually conducts business," said Tom Litzler, 2010 KGA/KACS chairman of the board. "Whether we're tackling difficult association financial decisions or the best way to handle a tough industry decision, Jeff is always ready to provide his wisdom and knowledge."

In his acceptance remarks, Holbrook told the audience about the importance of having mentors in life. Citing his father, Orell Holbrook, KGA Grocer of the Year in 1985, Holbrook said, "My father taught me about honesty, integrity, and fair dealing in business."

Over the years, Orell Holbrook established four supermarkets, which later became Key Market and Gateway Supermarkets. At an early age, Jeff worked alongside his father bagging customers' groceries, stocking shelves and sweeping floors. After graduating from college, Jeff worked for his Dad starting as produce manager and worked his way up to store manager.

After several attempts to expand his father's supermarket business, Jeff believed the road to survival for the small independent supermarket operator was to grow through a new store phenomenon known as convenience stores. Over the next several years, under the umbrella of the supermarket corporation, Jeff established a franchise that allowed individuals to open and run a store with his guidance, under the new name of Short Stop Food Marts Inc.

By 1978, Jeff had purchased the Short Stop stores from his father and subsequently opened 28 stores throughout the years. Now, as Jeff looks to retirement, one of his three sons, Matt, continues to grow the family business.

Holbrook has been personally involved in many community and civic affairs over the years. He served as a Lieutenant Governor for the Kentucky-West Virginia District of Optimist International. He also gives back through his business. Short Stop has sponsored an annual golf tournament to benefit Muscular Dystrophy, and supported the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

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