OKLAHOMA CITY — Love’s Travel Stops is celebrating 60 years of operation.
The company began in 1964 in Watonga, Oklahoma, when Tom and Judy Love, the founders of the now-nationally recognized brand, were a young couple growing their family.
In search of finding a way to support their growing family, the couple leased a filling station, according to a company news release.
“With Tom’s hardworking, boots-in-the-ground work ethic and community and people-focused mentality, the Loves were able to grow the one store into the brand we know today,” the news release stated. “Love’s innovative mindset gave him the idea to open a combined convenience store and filling station at a time when that was practically unheard of. It caught on, and over the years, the company grew, expanding into travel stops and eventually adding the Gemini Motor Transport fleet to the family. More of Love’s innovative ideas led him to add restaurant and fresh food options to total truck care solutions and other additions.”
According to the news release, Love’s is the only major travel stop that is still family-owned and-operated. They have 637 locations in 42 states and nearly 40,000 employees in North America and Europe.
“While a lot has changed in six decades, the heart of Love’s has not, and it’s now alive in four generations of our family,” the Love family said in a statement. “We are so grateful for our incredible team members — past and present — whose contributions play a role in shaping our company. Growth and innovation of our product offerings, living our core values and culture daily and dedication to clean places and friendly faces are what this company was started on in 1964. Today, we proudly stand on that foundation and know our best is still ahead of us.”
Despite the growth the company has had in the last six decades, one element that hasn’t changed but, instead, has grown over that time, is the culture and philosophy of treating all team members like family no matter what, company officials say.
The belief in caring for customers, partners and team members still differentiates Love’s.
“Tom Love said it best: ‘Yesterday’s trophies don’t win tomorrow’s games,’ and even after six decades we still live by that motto, constantly innovating and improving,” said Shane Wharton, president of Love’s. “The secret formula behind the company’s success is our employees and how they model the core values Love’s was built on and sustain a legacy of driving for excellence.”
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Erica N. Guy decided to stay in her hometown to begin her professional career in journalism. Since obtaining her bachelor’s degree from UAPB, Erica has professionally written for several publications about several topics ranging from lifestyle, tech, culture, and entertainment, just to name a few. Continuing her love for her hometown, she joined our team in June 2023, where she is currently a staff writer. Her career goals include continuing storytelling through her writing by being the best professional writer she can be. In her spare time, Erica enjoys trying new foods, cozying up with a good book, spending time with family and friends, and establishing herself as a future businesswoman.