Iowa-Born Casey's General Store Has Quietly Become One Of The Midwest's Favorite Gas Stations
What does it take to become a midwestern icon? Careful planning, hard work, cleanliness, and a commitment to bringing great service to small towns, in the case of Casey’s General Store.
The company had its earliest roots in a coal and ice delivery shop in Des Moines opened in 1935 by Domenic Lamberti. His son, Donald, learned about customer service from the time his chin cleared the sales counter as he helped his father.
By the time Donald Lamberti opened the first Casey’s in Boone in 1968, he had developed invaluable insight on what would make a successful store.
Lamberti initially focused on small communities with minimal competing amenities. His general stores were popular because they had the groceries and other household necessities that people previously had to travel to a larger town to find.
One of Lamberti’s guiding principles was to make his stores family-friendly in the selection of magazines and products they sold. He also knew that people are much happier shopping in a clean environment, so Lamberti required a high standard of cleanliness in his stores.
This was especially important when the company decided to offer fast food in 1984; they needed that restaurant-quality cleanliness! If you’ve never eaten Casey’s pizza, it could well be your new favorite.
They serve delicious pizza all day long, starting bright and early with their signature breakfast pizza topped with scrambled eggs and whatever else you can imagine.
Many locations now even offer gluten free pizza.
They also turn out fresh donuts and other pastries every morning; Casey’s bakers are top notch!
Many people know you can get fountain drinks and coffee at Casey’s, but did you know most stores offer soft-serve ice cream too?
Casey’s gained a reputation for being a convenient place to get groceries, household necessities and fuel, and the stores spread quickly throughout Iowa, eventually also making an appearance in larger towns as well.
In the 1980s, most of the General Stores also offered VHS rentals. Anyone remember perusing their shelves before movie night?
At this point, you might be wondering why a guy named Donald Lamberti would name his store “Casey’s.” Apparently, there was some animosity against Italians in the 1960s, and Lamberti feared that attaching his name to the store would decrease its chances of success.
So instead, he used the first two initials of the man he hired to run the stores, Kurvin C. Fish. Therefore, the name "Casey’s" (K.C.’s) was created.
What do you love most about Casey’s? The pizza? The donuts? The giant cups of soda? The clean bathrooms when you’re on a road trip? Maybe it’s all of the above. Learn more and see where the closest Casey’s to you is here on their website. You can also keep up with their weekly specials and promotions on their Facebook page. And while you’re at it, here’s another Iowa-born gem to love: B-bops.
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Casey's, 1303 SE Marshall St, Boone, IA 50036, USA