Stinker Stores operates 68 retail sites in Idaho, 62 of which sell gasoline. It covers a vast landscape of 600 miles in the large state.

“Retail is what we do,” says Charley Jones, president and CEO. 

Westpoint Transportation and ArrowRock Supply are two sister companies working with Stinker Stores. Westpoint supplies stores with fuel transportation and wholesale fuel supply. ArrowRock Supply is Stinker’s wholesale provider of consumer staples not otherwise delivered by companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Budweiser and MillerCoors, for example, focusing primarily on tobacco and also candy. 

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At the age of 46, Steve Norman was out of a job, had two kids in college and a big mortgage. He had enough socked away to survive for a little while, but certainly not in the lifestyle to which his family was accustomed. He had to come up with a plan.

Norman had a background in wholesale distribution to convenience stores, and he decided to start a chain of cigarette/tobacco stores in West Virginia. He did market research and determined the area he was targeting could probably support 10 such stores eventually. He put together a business plan with all his analysis and projections and got a bank loan for $100,000. 

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Robert Graham may be a men’s luxury fashion brand, but it has already built a strong following by shunning the typical and embracing the bold. Based in New York and launched in 2001, the company takes its name from co-founder Robert Stock, a fashion designer, and former co-founder Graham Fowler, a textile designer.  It is known for complex and colorful patterns that have allowed it to fill a niche in the menswear market.

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Herdrich Petroleum Corp. is working to open more Quickpix convenience stores throughout rural communities in Indiana. With its focus hard set on expansion, the company is streamlining its operations to become more efficient as more locations open. 

The family owned company dates back to 1953 when Jim Herdrich founded Herdrich Oil Co. in Connersville, Ind. In 1986, Bill Herdrich – Jim Herdrich’s son and current company president – formed Herdrich Petroleum in Rushville, Ind., after merging Browning & Herdrich Co., a fuel supply company he founded, with Herdrich Oil. 

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For a while in the grocery business, getting bigger was the goal, but now the big-box mega-retailers are trying to fit their stores into smaller locations emphasizing groceries. When doing this on Long Island, N.Y., they may run into the 11 locations of Handy Pantry Food Stores, which has been practicing the business model of having everything people want with a friendly, neighborhood feel since 1976.

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Giselle Diaz Eastlack’s parents, Mauricio and Maria Diaz, purchased their first service station in 1996, a Shell station that had been pegged for failure. With her father serving as the mechanic and her mother working the register, the station was transformed through hard work and determination into a successful business, and Eastlack says the formula for success wasn’t that complicated. “They basically cleaned up the store, put a new coat of paint on the walls and took customer service to the next level,” she says. 

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Located in Oregon and Northern California, C&K Market Inc. is emphasizing its easy access to fresh produce by introducing its “Eat Fresh, Eat Local” campaign. “We have been out working with local farmers and want to bring that into the individual communities,” President and CEO Karl Wissmann explains. “We have kicked it off with a farmers’ market approach. 

“On Saturday mornings, we have local farmers’ products in the parking lot that are put in special bins,” he continues. “Throughout the week after the farmers’ market promotion, we bring them into the store and have special displays with information about the growers and identify them as local. It’s been very well-received. We just started it this spring, so next year it will be a much bigger program. We’re very pleased with how it’s gone this year.”

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As a renowned racecar driver turned successful auto designer and manufacturer, Carroll Shelby revolutionized high-performance auto designs both for the racetrack and for street vehicles for collectors.

Today, his logos grace products including die-cast cars, clothing, video games and golf carts – as well as automobiles. In fact, there are more than 150 Carroll Shelby licensees worldwide. 

Read more: Carroll Shelby Licensing Inc.