Casey’s 50th Anniversary: Honoring the Past, Celebrating the Future
In many ways, the Casey’s General Store story embodies the hard work ethic and people-focused approach that shines through in many Iowans.
The Casey’s story began in 1959 when our founder, Don Lamberti, leased his parents’ coal and ice store located on the north side of Des Moines, Iowa. After nine years, Don’s fuel supplier and friend, Kurvin C. Fish, or “KC”, as he was known, suggested that Don buy the Square Deal Oil Company and convert the existing gas station into a convenience store that offered both gas and groceries. The new store, which opened in 1968 in Boone, Iowa, was named "Casey's" — using Kurvin’s initials as inspiration.
Following successful store openings in Waukee and Creston, Iowa, Don realized there was truly an opportunity for a business model such as Casey’s to meet the needs of rural communities. In order to grow more quickly, Casey’s began offering franchise opportunities. The first franchise location was opened in Huxley, Iowa by Steve Risdal in 1971. Mr. Risdal and ensuing franchise owners became an integral part of Casey’s early growth and entrepreneurial spirit positioned the Company for its success over the years. The 1980’s brought even more “firsts”.
- 1980: Freshly fried donuts introduced in Grimes, Iowa
- 1982: First distribution center opened in Urbandale, Iowa
- 1983: Becomes a publicly traded company on NASDAQ
- 1985: Made-from-scratch pizza introduced in Waukee, Iowa
- 1990: Opened new Corporate Headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa
- 2015: Opening of the second distribution center in Terre Haute, Indiana
Some of the biggest goals for the future of Casey’s revolve around some key digital initiatives, including rolling out a loyalty program, expanding online ordering capabilities and adding more in-store technology.
“We will continue to drive shareholder value while at the same time strive to meet the needs of our customers, communities and employees,” Handley said.