Top 202 Convenience Store Chains

The Family-Business Factor

The industry has many family-owned and -operated businesses whose foundings stretch back to last century or earlier. Here are highlights of some of the longest-lasting family-run retailers.


Wawa was founded in New Jersey, the same year Ludwig van Beethoven was conducting and playing piano in Vienna.


Krist Oil was founded, and Albert Einstein published his first paper on cosmology.


Stewart’s Shops traces its roots back to 1921, when Percy W. and Charles V. Dake began making Dake’s Delicious ice cream in Greenfield, N.Y. In 1945, the Dake family opened the first Stewart’s retail outlet in Ballston Spa, N.Y.


Family-owned and third-generation-managed, York, Pa.-based Rutter’s Farm Stores began with the “Rutter Brothers” selling dairy products from a horse-drawn wagon in 1921. Rutter’s Farm Stores debuted in 1967 as an additional outlet for the company’s dairy products.


Four of our oldest companies were founded: Stewart’s Shops, Coen Oil, Spencer Co. and Tedeschi Food Shops. That same year, Babe Ruth won the American League’s Most Valuable Player, and the Hollywood sign was built.


Angelo Tedeschi opened the first Tedeschi retail location in 1923 in his home in Rockland, Mass., selling imported Italian meats and cheeses from his basement. Later, Angelo began to sell his products from the back of a meat wagon.


Newcomb Oil was founded this year, and Marlon Brando was born.


Henry Ford established a five-day  workweek and boosted his workers’ pay by $5, all in the same year that Kelley Williamson Co. was founded.


Mirabito Fuel Group has been in business since 1927, when Italian immigrant James Mirabito began providing heating oil, coal, natural gas, gasoline and lubricants to customers from his plant in Norwich, N.Y. These days, the company is based in The MetroCenter in Binghamton, N.Y.


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