Upgraded technology and image has been a decade-long focus for Certified under the tenure of CEO Peter Lacaillade, son-in-law of the late founder Carlyle Baker. Before Baker's death in 1998, Certified was a widely known brand throughout five states, but it was not advanced technologically. Lacaillade has trimmed stores and spent $30 million upgrading the remainder in technology (card readers, pumps, antitheft cameras) and image.

Certified's Rewards program had more than 150,000 members in 60 of the chain's stores. It awards points for fuel and in-store purchases that can be redeemed with Certified, as well as with a growing number of third-parties, such as grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters and drug stores.

Prototype stores are larger, female-friendly and with more space for foodservice. The company reported roughly a 50-50 split in revenue from fuel and store sales, but plans for its store sales to take the lead in the future.

Headquarters:Columbus, Ohio
No. of Stores:80
Average Store Size:1,000-2,500 sq. ft.
Rank Last Year:91
States of Operation: Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia