Kwik Trip expands in UP with new locations in IM, Kingsford

IRON MOUNTAIN — Kwik Trip has further established itself in the Upper Peninsula, opening stores in Iron Mountain and Kingsford in roughly a month’s time.

Scott Zietlow, CEO for the La Crosse, Wis.-based convenience store and fueling station chain, was present Tuesday along with wife Jill for the official ribbon-cutting at both new locations.

“For communities like Iron Mountain, our goal is to provide a clean, safe location to purchase fresh products of value with outstanding desk service,” Zietlow said.

Until now, Kwik Trip’s only Upper Peninsula stores were in Ironwood and Bessemer. To the south, Kwik Trip reached Crivitz, Wis., in August 2021.

The chain has almost 850 stores, mostly in the Midwest, with a target of adding about 40 a year, a spokesman for Kwik Trip said earlier this year.

The company produces much of what it stocks in its stores at its support center and production distribution warehouse facilities in La Crosse.

It has a bakery for the bread, buns, donuts, cookies, bagels and muffins that are delivered almost daily to the stores. The commissary packages fruit cups, veggie trays, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, as well as take-home meals.

Its dairy operation provides milk and ice cream, sourced from local and regional dairy farmers, Zietlow said. “As we say, ‘Cow to store in 24,'” he said, adding, “It is meaningful to me, since I was born on a dairy farm. We like to support local agriculture as well.”

Each store has a “state of the art” kitchen for making hot food on site, such as fried and rotisserie chicken, burgers, potato wedges and other sides, he said.

Between them, the two stores created 100 jobs in the area, Zietlow said.

“We expect great things,” he said, “of these locations.”

Though based about 280 miles away, Zietlow said a Kwik Trip goal is to give back to the local communities. “We want to be part of the fabric here,” he said.

During the ceremony, they presented $1,000 donations to Almost Home Animal Shelter, Iron Mountain Fire Department, Kingsford Public Safety and the Lake Antoine Park Partners.

The effects of the new stores can be easily seen in local gas prices, which have dropped from $3.35 a gallon for regular unleaded when the Iron Mountain Kwik Trip began serving customers in earnest Oct. 5 to $2.75 at most stations in the city this week.

The Kingsford Self Serve kept above $3 until this week but with Kwik Trip opening just up Carpenter Avenue as of Nov. 2 has gone to $2.99; a BP station in neighboring Aurora, Wis., went below $3 as well.

While Kwik Trip hasn’t led these price declines — the Krist Oil station closest to Kwik Trip on Iron Mountain’s north side has mostly spurred the changes, going to $2.74 on Friday — the new stores have been more than willing to match every adjustment. Krist Oil, based in Iron River, was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for this article.

Dickinson County now has Michigan’s lowest average gas price for regular unleaded — $2.95 a gallon as of Wednesday, according to AAA Michigan. No other county in the state is below $3 a gallon.


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