Lowell Hartell, our Founder, originally got into the convenience store business accidentally when he partnered with Curt Cook and Karlton Nash to buy an old Stuckey’s store. None of them knew much about the business, but figured they could surely make a go of it. After some much needed renovations and hiring a manager, they opened the doors to “KCL Express” in June 1988.

Quite a lot of money was lost in the first year, so Lowell decided to start learning more about what they were doing. He began coming in early each day to help with book keeping and learning about the operation. It wasn’t too long after that when he decided he wanted to do it full time. So after agreeing to buy out the other two partners, he quit his day job and started a life of entrepreneurship.

The first year was a struggle, but he always stayed optimistic. He continually pushed expansion and acquired other sites that had/were failing. Slowly things started coming together. After our third store, he changed the name to “Travel Express” which later was shorted to TREX. As the business continued growing, “I” became “we” and his role changed from cashier to running the store. Now he’s the leader of an organization that employs over 200 people and runs over 15 businesses.


It is fun to be involved with so many great people and try to continually grow our business. -Lowell Hartell


We at TREX have created a culture that holds us to certain standards and behavior, which is something we are very proud of. The expression “Do the Right Thing” embodies everything we are about.