Kwik Trip Building New Commissary

Road project grant helps retailer add jobs, expand selection

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Kwik Trip Inc. will add about 166 jobs at its support center with the help of a $375,000 state grant toward relocating part of a street and other infrastructure improvements, Governor Jim Doyle announced during a visit to the company's La Crosse headquarters, reported the La Crosse Tribune.

The chain is investing $14.7 million to build and equip a new 68,000-sq.-ft. commissary, which will replace its current 5,500-sq.-ft. facility. A variety of food items, such as sandwiches, are made at the commissary for Kwik Trip convenience stores.[image-nocss]

A stretch of Larson Street has been vacated by the city and moved to the east to make way for the expansion. The commissary is about to be built just east of the Kwik Trip distribution center, on part of the former street section and on part of the former Shiftar Auto Salvage property, which Kwik Trip owns.

The company now has more than 1,000 employees at the support center, which includes a bakery, commissary, dairy plant, offices, transportation facilities and two warehouses. Having a much larger commissary will allow the chain to make all of its items, rather than buying some from other companies, and will allow Kwik Trip to expand its selection, said the report.

The new commissary should be finished by May 2007, Kwik Trip president and CEO Don Zietlow told the newspaper. The 166 additional jobs should be created within a year after that, he said.

The state grant to the city and a tax incremental finance district will pay for the road construction and infrastructure improvements, which are expected to cost $1.065 million, the report said.

This is one of Wisconsin's great successes, Doyle said of Kwik Trip.