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an ode to: kwik trip

We are so grateful to Kwik Trip (Midwest gas station chain) for getting us started with our Doses of Relief: Gas card edition. They donated $200 worth of gas cards for us to provide Relief to Caregivers.

If you don't know the back story of this awesome company, I'm going to enlighten you. They are so popular that you can find one in most Wisconsin small towns (small like Ripon, not small like Peshtigo ;) and even several (3) within just 3 miles of each other (New Berlin for example). Some have a store on both sides of busy intersections.

From groceries and ready-to-eat meals, to caffeine & bakery treats, they have it all. My favorite (well I have 3) treat to grab on a road trip (or a meal delivery hehe) are the muffins, peanut butter rice krispie treat (big as your head) and the F'Real shakes that are blended in a fun machine right in front of you.

The first time I even went to a Kwik trip was in college with my Dad. I didn't have a car for my first three years at Ripon (about 20 miles west of Oshkosh). So anytime I wanted to come home for the weekend or on breaks, my Dad drove the two hours (one way) to get me or we met half way in Green Bay when my dear friend/roommate/Packer fan extraordinaire Tiffany would take me on her way home. My Dad was FAMOUS for stopping for ice cream on any (every) road trip. While hand scooped in a waffle cone was his preferred, he'd settle for a F'Real shake from Kwik Trip if that was the only option. We'd load up my stuff (laundry) and drive to Oshkosh and stop at the Kwik Trip right at the exit with easy access to US41 North. From there it was a straight 90 minute shot to home and those shakes were such a sweet Relief on a Friday afternoon. He specifically liked malts. He'd get strawberry or Snickers usually to my chocolate or Oreo.

People have started Facebook fan pages and other similar Odes to Kwik Trip. It is such a funny Wisconsin (some in Minnesota and Iowa, Michigan...) thing although now Buc-ees in Texas/ the south is becoming a (much MUCH bigger) thing too. My Husband Kyle had the opportunity to hear the CCO speak at a work event and the story he shared literally brought tears to many eyes he said (I'm guessing his own too!). I'm paraphrasing greatly... but here goes. An elderly man brought his car in one day to fill up with gas. He got out and asked an attendant who was collecting garbage, "How do I use this pump? How do I fill my tank?" and the employee patiently showed him how to work the pump. Then he asked, 'How about checking the oil? Can you help me with that too?" and she patiently showed him how to use the dipstick to check the oil level. Lastly, he said "I think I need air in my tires, can you help me with that too?" and she again patiently showed him how to use the air pump. Turns out, his oil was fine. The air in his tires was fine. The employee was confused why he needed help and he said, "Oh, I know how to do all this I just wanted to see if what Kwik Trip says is true; that you take care of people. I just found out I have terminal cancer and won't be here in 3 months. I want to make sure that my wife will be taken care of when she needs something for her car. She's never done any of this because I always take care of it for her." What a story. He went on to talk about how one of their values is "treat others how you want to be treated." The Golden Rule. What a concept. Something that fits so well with The Right Relief. If your family was going through a health challenge, wouldn't you want other's to think of you and maybe bring a meal? That's why we do what we do!

Another example, unrelated to Right Relief occurred just a few weeks ago when I was picking up a coffee donation for the Grandparents Day event at my daughter's school that I volunteered to run. A month previously I had put requests in to a few local places to see if they'd donate coffee for the event. Then life happened and I dropped the ball on following up/confirming with everyone. I knew Starbucks was in and I stopped there first at the early hour of 6:30. They were finishing up and while I was waiting for my big to-go containers, I called Kwik Trip and double checked they had some for me. They naturally weren't prepared because I hadn't followed up but said they could get it ready in about 20 minutes. I finished up at Starbucks and drove the 5 minutes to Kwik Trip not expecting anything to be ready. I told the employee at the register what I was there for and he didn't seem to know anything about the donation but I explained I had just called and I'd be fine waiting. I got myself a muffin and waited in line to pay for it. I glanced back at the coffee station and saw an employee hurriedly pouring steaming coffee from the machines into to-go containers. It was done and ready way faster than I anticipated and she was wiping up the counters as I came over to pick them up. She was apologizing profusely and saying she would have had them done sooner if she'd known I was coming (which was completely on me since I hadn't followed up before that morning). So awesome. They cared about me and making sure I got the donation in a timely fashion, no matter that they hadn't had time to prepare. Wow.

Lastly, I have a funny story involving our engagement/proposal day that really has nothing to do with Right Relief but is something I'll always remember about a particular Kwik Trip in Oconomowoc (yes this particular city 30 miles West of Milwaukee has five O's). When I met Kyle in 2012 he lived in Oconomowoc and I visited him there often. It has beautiful lakes and a downtown with all kinds of fun restaurants/shops. On April 20, 2014 he and I went to Madison to have Easter brunch with his family. It was a beautiful morning and we were dressed up. On the way back, he suggested we stop and take a walk around the lake before heading home to our Waukesha apartment. We often drove to Oconomowoc to do this on nice weather days so it didn't seem that out of the ordinary. What was weird was that he pulled into Kwik Trip at the Oconomowoc exit for no apparent reason or explanation. He didn't need gas and it wasn't that long of a drive that he'd need to use the restroom. We were stuffed from Easter brunch so no snacks needed. He just got out of the car and said he'd be right back. It was like 15 minutes later before he came back. Hadn't purchased anything. I was obviously suspicious at this point (we had been ring shopping so I had a pretty good inkling of what was coming). He drove to the downtown and parked and took a wrapped present out of his trunk. Then I knew it! We started walking and enjoying the weather and he eventually stopped at a (very specific) bench and said to sit down and open the present. It was a photo book of our first 2 years together and at the end it just had large text: "Stand up. Turn the page." Then, "Will you marry me?" The rest is history. What I didn't know at the time was our dear friend Lindsay (who actually set us up!) was hiding in some bushes across the street from the bench and was taking pictures to document the occasion. The Kwik Trip stop was a stall tactic to make sure she was in position and ready for us. So funny how these little moments stick in our memories. Can't drive by that Kwik Trip without thinking about our engagement day!

In summary, Kwik trip rocks ;)

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