FREMONT, Ohio — Convenience and fuel retailer FriendShip Stores has named veteran retail executive Kirk Matthews as vice president of foodservice and marketing. He succeeds Ed Burcher, former vice president of foodservice, who has left to focus on his personal foodservice consulting business.
Matthews will assist with the development and expansion of FriendShip’s foodservice concept, FriendShip Kitchen, including launching the program at the company’s newest FriendShip store in Columbus, Ohio, in May, said Brian Beck, senior vice president of FriendShip Stores.
“We are excited for the passion and wisdom that [Matthews] adds to one of the most talented and experienced store and corporate management teams in the industry,” Beck said.
Matthews previously worked for TravelCenters of America LLC, Westlake, Ohio. He joined the company in 1997, and his most recent role was director of store retail marketing and foodservice category manager, a position he had held since 2012.
“Filling Ed’s shoes was a challenge as has been transitioning Kirk into our company during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Gregg Edwards, vice president of operations for FriendShip. “We are a 70-year-old, family-owned and -operated company with a culture-first mindset. Kirk’s personal values and style align perfectly with the Beck family values and was a deciding factor in his selection. While we will certainly miss Ed, we are very excited for what lies ahead for FriendShip Kitchen under the leadership of Kirk Matthews.”
FriendShip is the retail division of Fremont, Ohio-based Beck Suppliers, a family-owned and -operated retail and wholesale petroleum marketer founded in 1950. The first FriendShip convenience store was opened in 1986 by Bill and Brian Beck. The company operates 26 FriendShip and FriendShip Kitchen locations featuring FriendShip Famous Chicken and the FriendShip Rewards program.