Publicly traded Casey's General Stores is an Iowa-based convenience store force built on the premise that small towns are a good place to do business. Quarterly and annual same-store sales comparison figures bear this out, with steady increases in sales, especially in prepared foods. Growth continues to be a crucial part of the company’s strategic focus. Casey’s plans to grow store units by 70 or more in the 2014 fiscal year, which ends June 30. About half will be new store construction and half acquisition.

The company has said it will build a second distribution center, but the location is undecided. Where Casey's chooses to build it will be a clear sign of the chain's expansion plans. Through the first six months of fiscal 2014, the company built 14 new stores and acquired an additional 22. It also completed 14 replacement stores and 19 major remodels.

Casey's is famous for its pizza, which it began making from scratch in its stores in 1984, and is now the sixth-largest pizza chain in the country. Key initiatives include expanding operating hours to 24 hours a day at more locations, ongoing remodeling of stores and growth in pizza delivery. Remodels include larger coffee and fountain offerings, made-to-order sub-sandwich programs and expanded cooler capacity.

Headquarters:Ankeny, Iowa
No. of Stores:1759
Average Store Size:2,500-4,000 sq. ft.
States of Operation: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin