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Mergers & Acquisitions

Casey’s Buys 2 C-Stores in Southeastern Missouri

Former owners were known for their focus on employees, customers
Photograph: Shutterstock

ANKENY, Iowa -- Casey’s General Stores Inc. has acquired two convenience stores from Bauman Oil Distributors Inc., Herculaneum, Mo., Casey’s spokesperson Mike Richardson told CSP Daily News.

“We are purchasing those two locations in Desloge, Mo., and Park Hills, Mo. Right now, the closing is scheduled for Dec. 11, and we will rebrand them and remodel them to fit closer with what [Casey’s] is selling,” including possibly remodeling their kitchens, he said.

“We are writing to inform you that we will be closing Sunday, Dec. 9, at [6 p.m.]. Casey’s General Store will re-open on Dec. 12,” Paul and Theresa Bauman said in a Facebook post Nov. 20.

“We would like to thank everyone for supporting both Park Hills and Desloge locations,” they said. “We have enjoyed every minute of being part of such an awesome community—we have loved and appreciated each customer we have served through the years. We cherish the many memories and hope we have left footprints on each of your hearts. … We have truly appreciated your business, and we encourage you to try out the new Casey’s at both locations and keep living the dream like our stores and employees have encouraged. We will continue to love and support our towns of Park Hills and Desloge and our surrounding towns.”

Daily Journal readers honored the two River Mart c-stores as “Best of the Parkland” for 2017 and 2018.

In 2010, Theresa Bauman took the business over from her husband. Describing herself as a “rookie,” Bauman had owned two dance studios and had worked for a cigarette company that put her in a lot of c-stores and helped her formulate what would make for a good store.

Once Bauman took over the operation of River Mart, she began making big changes. She started holding her employees to a higher standard, and the store began experiencing great success, the report said, so much so that they opened the second location.

The Baumans' emphasis has always been on their customers and employees, the report said.

“I love for it to be their first job,” Bauman said. “It is so exciting when they come in and it’s their first job. They just become one of mine—but I’m excited for them to move on. I think that River Mart is a stepping stone. I didn’t want any of them to stay here forever. I wanted them to keep moving up the ladder.”

All of the current River Mart employees have been offered jobs when the stores switch over to Casey’s, said the report. But few will be staying on under the new ownership, said Bauman. “They all have been offered the opportunity to stay on, but I will be honest, when the word got out, the whole town was grabbing them,” she said.

“I know we’re placing the stores in good hands, but I’m sad. I’m very sad, but I know it’s a good business move,” Theresa Bauman told the Daily Journal. “I can’t imagine what my life’s going to be like without all my ‘kids’ (employees) and our customers because they make my day every day.”

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s has more than 2,000 c-stores in 15 mostly Midwestern states. Casey’s is No. 4 in CSP’s 2018 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of company-owned retail outlets.

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