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Kouba celebrates 25 years in convenience store business
christi kouba kwik trip
Kwik Trip Store Leader Christi Kouba began her convenience store career at the now-defunct Kickapoo Quik Stop, then moved to the Kwik Trip store on Mill St. after one year. - photo by Contributed photo

Hillsboro Kwik Trip Store Leader Christi Kouba is about to celebrate 25 years in the convenience store business, and all of it has been spent in Hillsboro.

However, there is no truth to the rumor that all the recent remodeling was done to celebrate Kouba’s long history at the store.

In fact, she started her career in October 1988 by taking a job with then-competitor Kickapoo Quik Stop, and then moving down Mill St. to Kwik Trip thenext year.

Much has happened since then, with Kickapoo closing and Kwik Trip taking over most of the convenience store business in the Hillsboro area.

Kouba has a reputation of “leading by example, a situation that is appreciated by the store’s 21 employees.

She gets plenty of good backup by the staff with the help of Amanda Squire, who has been the Assistant Store Leader for one and one-half years.

Needless to say, there is plenty of leadership needed for a store that opens at 5 a.m. and serves customers until midnight.

“The hours of 4 to 6 p.m. are always the busiest time of the day,” Kouba said. “We call it ‘drive time’ because most customers stop in to pick up something on their way home from work.”

That probably also accounts for the expansion of the sales of pre-made sandwiches and pizza always kept warm on the heating table right near the cashier stations.

The carryout dining portion of the business continues to expand as the kitchen chefs are always busy keeping up with business and also will prepare customers’ orders within 5-10 minutes while they wait. If you don’t see what you’re hungry for, just tell a cashier and your order will be sent right to the kitchen for preparation.

And, even more convenient, customers can also call in their order before leaving home and pick it up in a few minutes.

They feature a large variety of delicious burgers and assorted sandwiches, and pizza slices.

Kouba also pointed out that the cold sandwiches and assorted salads are also growing in popularity for those seeking a lighter lunch.

Don’t forget to call ahead if you already have a taste for something special. The Kwik Trip phone number is 489-2300. The kitchen closes at 8 p.m. weeknights and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Not surprisingly, the sale of gas is the most popular product at the Kwik Trip.

But you might be surprised at the others, especially bananas, which are delivered fresh to the store every night.

Milk and bread are also delivered fresh seven nights a week. In fact, rumor has it that the bread is still warm when put on the shelves.

From tasty meals to cosmetics, customers can easily find almost anything at Kwik Trip, especially now that the remodeling has expanded the space and allowed merchandise to be displayed far more prominently.

Kouba pointed out one of the main reasons for Kwik Trip’s long, successful  history of pleasing its customers: “If there is something you need in a hurry, Kwik Trip most likely has it displayed.”

NOTE: This online version of the story has been edited to correct an error in the print version, which states incorrectly that Kouba has spent 35 years in the convenience store business. This error appeared in the headline in the print edition of the Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise. The Sentry Enterprise regrets the errors.–Editor.