(March 7, 2023), CEO Tom Trkla said the retailer is leveraging its strengths and unique background to assemble a system that could build 50 or more stores per year.
When Yesway says it’s one of the fastest-growing convenience-store operators in the country, the numbers back it up. In less than a decade, the chain has expanded through acquisitions and building new stores to 435 locations, with 28 more expected to come in 2023. That’s enough to put it in the top 15 c-store chains in terms of size, according to NACS.
“One of the most unique things about us is we sought this business out, sought out where we wanted to be, and then birthed it within the private equity platform,” said Tom Trkla, chairman and CEO of Brookwood Financial Partners and its c-store arm, Yesway. “As opposed to me investing in somebody, we built it within Brookwood.”
The fact that Yesway doesn’t have to rely on other businesses or investors to raise money the way many of its peers do has helped it ramp up very quickly.
“We grew through 25 M&A deals, and then spent the last couple years integrating Allsup’s,” Trkla said.
And the company hasn’t ceased acquisitions. In the past six months, it added both the nine-location Tres Amigos and the five-location Ranglers. But it’s increasingly growing in a different direction.
“What generates the highest return on invested capital for us is what we do best, which is build new stores,” Trkla said.
Recently, Trkla sat down with C-Store Dive to talk about Yesway’s growth plans, how the company focuses on its strengths and when it might refile for an initial public offering.