Grocery to morph into 2nd Byron Kwik Trip

We are part of The Trust Project.

BYRON — Byron’s grocery is slated to turn into a convenience store in late summer or early fall.

Randy Fogelson, the longtime owner of the Byron Market Place store and gas station at 863 High Point Drive NE, confirmed this week that Kwik Trip has a purchase agreement to buy his store.

The plan is for the La Crosse, Wis.-based convenience store chain to eventually remodel the Byron Market Place grocery into a 6,000- to 7,000-square-foot Kwik Trip.

While some people are voicing concern about Byron’s only grocery closing, Fogelson doesn’t see this as a negative change.

"There might be short-term pain, but I think there will be long-term gain for Byron on this deal," he said this week. "My facility will be full of a new business and new employees … And I’ve got to believe that somebody is going to backfill any void that’s there."


While Kwik Trip will take over the grocery and fuel station, Fogelson will retain ownership of the attached liquor store, and he expects to enlarge that space.

"We will be expanding the footprint of the liquor store by about 20 percent as part of the remodel," he said.

The grocery has about 28 employees and the liquor store has about four. Hans Zietlow of Kwik Trip anticipates the new convenience store and fuel center will need about 25 employees.

"We’re hoping many of those employees (from Byron Market Place) will come work for us," said Zietlow.

Once completed, this new center will be Kwik Trip’s second store in Byron as well as its largest. Why expand its investment in the small city?

"Byron is a growing town. This way we’ll have one (a store) on each side of town," he said. "When the existing store gets busy, it’s really hard to get in there."

The planned Market Place/Kwik Trip will be state of the art, according to Zietlow. However, it won’t offer a car wash. They expect to remove diesel from the fuel offerings due to the challenges large trucks have getting into the Market Place location.

The Byron Market Place has evolved over the years. Fogelson purchased Bill’s Foods in downtown Byron in 1992 and then an off-sale liquor store in 1997. In 2003, a gas station was added to the portfolio. He built and moved into the current facility in 2004.


After investing so much time and money, why decide to sell to Kwik Trip now?

"It was timing and opportunity. I figured it was time for me to get out, because I didn’t want to wait another 15 to 20 years," said Fogelson, who will soon turn 59.

Local grocers and corporate chains didn’t bite, when he proposed selling the Market Place to them. However, he was pleased things turned out as they did.

"Kwik Trip is a first-class company, and I think they will be good for our community," he said.

What to read next
Experts warn that simply claiming the benefits may create paper trails for law enforcement officials in states criminalizing abortion. That will complicate life for the dozens of corporations promising to protect, or even expand, the abortion benefits for employees and their dependents.
"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town, and, as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Minnesota Rush, the indoor sports complex at 380 Woodlake Drive SE, filed a development plan with the city of Rochester for an 18,000-square-square-foot addition to the 15-year-old complex. The proposed plan would double the size of the building.
Columnist Kristen Asleson says if breaking a rule benefits others more than it benefits you, that might be the time to break some rules.