Love's 200th Opens in Horse Cave, Ky.

Includes first Chester's cobranded with McDonald's

HORSE CAVE, Ky. -- Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, which operates travel plazas in 31 states, has opened its 200th location. The new facility is in Horse Cave, Ky., on Interstate 65.

The location will also feature the first Chester's International LLC fried chicken franchise cobranded with McDonald's, reported The Glasgow Daily Times. Chester's is a major foodservice offering in the convenience store category.

Oklahoma City-based Love's is Chester's first franchisee of record, having signed on in June of 2004 and today [image-nocss] is the largest franchise operator in the system with almost 40 Chester's and Chester Fried locations in travel plazas across the United States. Love's is slated to add additional Chester's throughout 2007.

Working with a national brand like Chester's has proven to be successful for us, said Joe Cotton, director of restaurant services for Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores. Chester's has a commitment to providing superior marketing support to its franchisees. It is a much need boost that we could only get from a strong foodservice partner.

Love's Horse Cave travel stop will feature a Chester's store that will offer its customers both takeout and dine-in options.

Love's Travel Stops has been a successful franchisee, and we are excited to see our franchise program expand with their growing business, said Ted Giles, CEO of Birmingham, Ala.-based Chester's International. Love's decision to cobrand Chester's with McDonalds is an exciting opportunity to see what our brands can do to increase foot traffic at this location.

Meanwhile, Love's launched its annual nationwide campaign to raise awareness and funds to support the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) on September 1.

This year's campaign represents the ninth consecutive year Love's has supported the CMN. Love's and its customers across the country have raised more than $1.5 million to help support children's hospitals affiliated with CMN.

Customers can donate at any Love's location through September 30.

We are fortunate to have generous companies like Love's as our partners, said Rod Hamson, vice president of sponsor relations for CMN. The 'Have a Heart' campaign raises awareness and funds to support the programs and services provided by [CMN] hospitals in the communities where Love's employees and customers live and work. Love's is helping us educate these communities on the important medical advances happening every day at more than 170 hospital affiliates in the United States and Canada. Every year, Love's management, employees and customers demonstrate through their generosity that they truly 'Have a Heart' for kids.

[Pictured (l to r):Robert Ferrell, area food manager, Love's; Jay Nevils, Chester's manager Horse Cave, Ky.; Jay Muellar, general manager, Horse Cave, Love's; Bill Stanton, district manager, Love's.]