80 Days of Wow'

Weigel's celebrates 80th anniversary

POWELL, Tenn. -- Weigel's Stores Inc., East Tennessee's only family-owned local dairy, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this summer. Operating 56 convenience stores with more than 500 employees in Knoxville and surrounding areas, including the recently opened Lake City location, Weigel's was founded in 1931 by brothers William and Lynn Weigel.

Chairman and CEO Bill Weigel said his family's Broadacres Dairy began when his father and his uncle bought six cows. In fact, the Weigel brothers were the first in Knoxville to pasteurize milk in 1935. By 1956 Weigel's milked [image-nocss] more than 400 cows daily and led the industry with an innovative aluminum irrigation system, the first of its kind in East Tennessee.

Weigel's operated drive-through milk depots in the early 1960s. Bill Weigel opened Knoxville's first c-store in 1964. In early 1967, Weigel's introduced the ICEE brand of frozen carbonated beverages to the Knoxville market--ICEE's first market in Tennessee. In 1970, Weigel's installed the first self-service gasoline pumps in Knoxville.

In addition to its proprietary skim milk, Skim D'Lite, Weigel's signature products include in-store, fresh-baked Bun-on-the-Run breakfast biscuits, Monkey Ice frozen drinks, award-winning, fresh-brewed Kona coffee and flavored cappuccinos. In January 2011, Weigel's introduced no-surcharge ATMs to the Knoxville market, another first.

Bill Weigel's son, Kurt Weigel, director of recruiting, represents the third generation of family management. "I'm proud that my son Kurt has the same passion for the business--taking care of customers," said Bill Weigel.

To commemorate the 80th anniversary, Weigel's "80 Days of Wow" campaign kicked off June 13 and runs through August 31, 2011, and will give away $200,000 in prizes via social media and in-store promotions. The summer-long celebration culminates in a grand-prize cookout in early September.

"The 80th Anniversary is about celebrating our 80 years in business from the day my dad bought his first cows," Weigel said. "That was the beginning. Over the years, we've survived economic ups and downs, and we plan on continuing with the next generation. In the meantime, I'm loving every minute of it."

Weigel Stores is a family-owned business operating a dairy and c-stores throughout Knoxville, Tennessee and surrounding communities. Founded in 1931, Weigel's offers high-quality milk, coffee, food service and gasoline via its unique vertically integrated distribution channel. Weigel's employs more than 500 people.