Two Kwik Kings Remain

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Two Kwik Kings Remain

OCALA, Fla. -- The co-owners of the Kwik King Food Stores chain of convenience stores found a buyer for the majority of its remaining sites, after selling eight locations to Diamond Oil and another 11 to a local operator, Sam Patidar, in early January, the Star-Banner reported.

The chain's co-owners, Bill Tuck and Ralph Pressley, sold 22 of the remaining 24 stores to Ocala, Fla.-based Shreeji Bapa Krupa last week, the report stated.

"This deal was a really good fit for us," V.M. Patel, co-owner of Shreeji Bapa Krupa, told the paper. "This will help us grow as a company."

Patel told the paper the stores will be changed from Kwik Kings to Quick Kings, and offer BP-, Chevron- or Mobil-branded gasoline.

Kwik King Food Stores, once a 49-unit chain, was bought by Tuck and Pressley in 1999.

"The whole climate of the convenience store industry is changing," Tuck told the paper in a separate report earlier this month. "It's really tough today to deal with the big oil companies."

He expects service at the stores to become more individualized, something that was difficult to do when overseeing 49 stores, he told the paper.

"It's hard to manage 49 stores from an office," he said. "These new owners, they'll focus on the neighborhoods they're in. They'll have more intimate knowledge of their customers' needs."

Diamond Oil's stores will change from Shell to the Diamond Oil banner, while it will supply the 11 sites bought by Patidar with gasoline, according to the report.

Patidar, who operates five other stores in the area, will rebrand the 11 Kwik Kings to Qwik Kings, according to the report.