Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

August 20, 2022

Loves Travel Stops & Country Stores is an American family-owned chain of more than 500 truck stop and convenience stores in 41 states in the United States. 

In 1964, $5,000 was the equivalent of $43,700 by 2021 standards, and $5,000 is exactly what Tom and Judy Love spent to lease an abandoned service station in Watonga, Oklahoma.  The name of their company was Musket Corporation.

Musket Corporation was a success and, over the next eight years, Musket opened 40 more gas stations, all of them operating under the Kerr-McGee gasoline brand.

A Love’s Travel Stop in Choctaw, Oklahoma

In 1972, Musket began converting all of its gas stations to convenience stores with self-serve gasoline. By 1973, the name was changed to Love’s Country Stores.

Today, Loves chain of truck stops and convenience stores includes more than 500 locations in 41 of the United States.

Love’s ranked No. 17 on the 2019 Forbes list of America’s largest private companies.

Love’s has two kinds of stores, country stores and travel stops. Country stores are essentially gas stations with a convenience store attached. The larger travel stops are located along highways and offer a variety of amenities such as food, trucking supplies, showers and RV dump stations. The food is offered from fast-food restaurants such as Arby’s, Burger King, Green Burrito, Wendy’s and many more.

By 1978, with 60 Love’s Country Stores locations throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, the company began offering the Fresh Daily Deli. The Deli offered sandwiches made fresh on-location. Today, the Fresh Daily Deli is branded as Love’s Subs.

By the end of 1981, the company reached a milestone with 100 Love’s Country Stores and opened the first Love’s Travel Stop on Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas. The addition of self-serve diesel fuel brought professional drivers to Love’s. In 1985, Love’s added gifts and novelties.

In 1993, Taco Bell became a partner, opening a co-branded location in Oklahoma City. The success of this partnership quickly grew.

In 1995, the company partnered with Subway, Taco Bell Express and Pizza Hut and opened its first triple-branded food service operation in El Paso, Texas.

In 2008, Loves opened its first truck tire care location. Since then, the business has grown into a nationwide network of centers, offering tires, equipment, light mechanical work, oil changes and roadside service.