Mergers & Acquisitions

Kent Cos. to Acquire Tom Thumb Food Stores

Deal includes 14 c-stores in southern Florida
Tom Thumb Food Stores
Logo/Tom Thumb Food Stores

Kent Kwik Convenience Stores, an entity of The Kent Cos., has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire Tom Thumb Food Stores Inc., Hialeah, Florida. The acquisition will include 14 company-operated Tom Thumb Food Stores and three Subway franchise locations.

“I have always admired their business model, leadership, and community support. I am honored that they would entrust their legacy to our company.” said Bill Kent, owner and chairman of the Kent Cos., Midland, Texas, on his lifelong friendship with Tom Thumb co-owners, Jimmy and Tom McCarthy.

  • Kent Kwik is No. 101 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by total number of company-owned retail outlets.

Tom Thumb Food Stores is a family-owned and operated c-store chain that has maintained a presence in South Florida for more than 59 years, with locations spanning from Fort Lauderdale to Key West. The acquisition will increase The Kent Cos. portfolio to 88 company-owned and operated c-stores and 152 dealer sites throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and now Florida.

“Tom Thumb Food Stores have a long history serving the Florida market, with a strong reputation of taking care of their employees and dedication to their customers,” Bill Kent said. “We are honored to continue their legacy of serving this market and giving back to the community. Tom Thumb Food Stores is a great convenience-store chain that shares similar values and commitment. We are excited to welcome the Tom Thumb Food Stores Team into our family.”

The locations recently underwent a brand re-imaging and will continue to operate as Tom Thumb Food Stores. “We expect that customers will continue to receive the same great service by the same great employees. We are thrilled that the leadership and team will continue operating the stores as normal,” said Bill Kent.

“Our father and grandfather opened the first Tom Thumb location in South Florida in 1964,” said Jimmy and Tom McCarthy. “From growing up in the stores and working with our family in all aspects of the business to finally purchasing the entire company from our parents and our sisters in 2015, it has been our greatest joy and distinct honor to deliver convenience and friendly service to the people of South Florida and the Keys for the past 59-plus years. We will cherish the people, camaraderie and relationships in our stores, communities and across the industry that have become like family to us.”

Kent Cos. has made several acquisitions in recent years. In 2021, it acquired the 11 c-stores of Bountyland Petroleum and Bountyland Food Service, Seneca, South Carolina. Also in 2021, it acquired six c-stores from Connell Oil Co., Mineral Wells, Texas. In 202, the company acquired the four Buy Fast c-stores and the Big Chicken truckstop from Parsons Oil Co. Inc., Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Founded in West Texas by the late Buck Kent in 1957, The Kent Cos. began as Kent Oil and Kent Distributors and still remains a family-owned business. The Kent Cos. are comprised of multiple entities including Kent Kwik Convenience Stores, Mr. Payroll Check Cashing, Rustic Café, Huddle House, Baskin Robbins, Kent Car Washes, Kent Lubrication Centers, Westex Urgent Cares, Prince Signs, Kent Tire Co. and Kent Fuels wholesale.

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