Love’s Travel Stops is observing 60 years of operations since its first store opened in Watonga, Oklahoma, in 1964.
That year, Tom and Judy Love were looking for a way to support their growing family. So, they leased a filling station in Watonga, and over the ensuing years, that one store became a large, nationally recognized brand.
Today, Love’s is the only major travel stop organization that is still family-owned and -operated and is now a national travel stop and convenience store network. It has 637 locations in 42 states and nearly 40,000 employees in North America and Europe. Its growing family of companies includes Musket Corp., Trillium Energy Solutions, Gemini and Speedco.
Tom Love was an innovator from the start, opening a combined convenience store and filling station at a time when that was practically unheard of, according to a statement from the company. His outlook is at the heart of every addition the company has had over the years – from expanding into travel stops, adding the Gemini Motor Transport fleet, and restaurant and fresh food options, to total truck care solutions, alternative fuels, and private label offerings, said the company.
“While a lot has changed in six decades, the heart of Love’s has not, and it’s now alive in four generations of our family,” said the Love Family in a statement. “We are so grateful for our incredible team members – past and present – whose contributions play a role in shaping our company. Growth and innovation of our product offerings, living our core values and culture daily, and dedication to clean places, friendly faces are what this company was started on in 1964. Today, we proudly stand on that foundation and know our best is still ahead of us.”
One element that has not changed over the years, but gained in strength, is the company’s culture and the philosophy of treating all team members like family. The company said this commitment was recently recognized when Love’s was ranked #1 for “Work Wellbeing in the US” by Indeed.
“Tom Love said it best, ‘yesterday’s trophies don’t win tomorrow’s games,’ and even after six decades we still live by that motto, constantly innovating and improving,” said Shane Wharton, president of Love’s. “The secret formula behind the company’s success is our employees and how they model the core values Love’s was built on and sustain a legacy of driving for excellence.”
Love’s 60th anniversary celebration will continue throughout the year.