Our Humble Roots
In the humble beginning of BKS we were Hattiesburg 66 Oil Company, September 1, 1967, we became Big “K” Oil Company. Initially the company operated as a sideline to a general store in Baxterville, Mississippi and serviced only three full-service stations in the Hattiesburg area.
In1969, the general store in Baxterville was sold and the company office and warehouse were moved to Hattiesburg. For the first time, the company had to stand alone without the support of the general store. With full efforts now directed toward growth, additional full-service stations were acquired in small towns and these stations were operated by independent dealers.
By 1972, it was clear that the marketplace was saturated with full-service stations. Competitive pricing was fierce, gas margins and volumes were low. These factors created problems for the full-service market making it harder to survive.
In late 1972, the company installed its first pumps in front of a food store. This allowed more competitive pricing and also made it easier to meet the financial obligations of the food store, since they were already surviving financially without gas.
In 1973 and 1974, “gas shortage” prevented growth, however, in 1975; the company began to expand again through the installation of gas facilities at convenience stores.
In March 1977, the company began to purchase gas from Gulf Oil Company and changed its name to Big “K” Oil Company, Inc. The company continued to place emphasis on gas facilities at convenience stores. By staying open longer hours and pricing on a more competitive basis, substantial increases in volume were made.
In 1979 through 1981 was a period of fast growth within the company as it began to remodel and rebuild outdated units. Self-service gas had become a way of life for many customers. Full service stations, as we had known them were a thing of the past. In 1984, the company began to build units with the intent of operating them with salaried employees, and placed emphasis on well-lighted clean, modern, and nice looking units.
In 1988, Big “K” Oil Company became a Chevron Jobber. This allowed for continuous growth of the company. In 1992, Big “K” Oil served approximately 65 dealers in the southern and central regions of Mississippi and over into the southern region of Alabama. The company operated 14 salaried units in 1992 and expanded to the Poplarville area the same year.
With continued emphasis on well-lighted, clean, modern and nice looking units, the company grew to 19 salaried units before selling off one leg to another company in 1999.
Keith’s Superstores began in 1996 and has grown to 30 units in 2014. Our company President also owns and operates JRB Grocery. Our company has two trucking companies with over 15 on the road 18 wheelers. We have a Mardi Gras company, 3 Bulk plants with expectations of greater growth going forward.
We are ever growing in the south to become the South’s fastest and friendliest place to shop!