So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
The crew at PureNutrition Choctaw blends up nutritious, delicious shakes daily to help customers curb appetites in a healthy way. They boast an extensive menu of flavors as well as a special shake of the day. Past iterations have included Butterfinger, strawberry banana, and Reese’s chocolate, in which loads of vitamins, minerals, and decadent taste are neatly folded into less than 300 calories. The staff also specializes in Herbalife supplements, which support clients’ health in a more convenient way than holding daily races against a greyhound.
Batteries Plus, No. 19 on the Dun & Bradstreet AllBusiness AllStar Franchise rankings, connects to a network of 515 stores in order to stock more than 40,000 types of batteries and light bulbs and ensure that customers can special order obscure parts. Their batteries range from dainty watch batteries to 5,000-pound leviathans that can power forklifts, and an on-site tech center can design and assemble custom batteries or rebuild old ones. A diverse array of chargers keep systems juiced, and the shop’s bulbs range from fluorescent tubes to heat lamps. To safeguard the environment, Batteries Plus's staff recycles all types of batteries and bulbs rather than hauling them to landfills or feeding them to each other.
Alouette's ace jewelers fashion a wealth of adornments from a stock of Japanese seed beads, African bone beads, and numerous semiprecious and natural stones, such as onyx and tiger-eye. With staff creations and costume jewelry, Alouette embellishes necks, wrists, and gills for a plentitude of styles and occasions. The team also assembles custom rings or bracelets that conform to patrons' visions, and lead several jewelry-making classes to demystify the bead-stringing arts. To widen the crafting community, Alouette partners with Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Society, gathering students together during monthly sessions for demos and group assistance, helping patrons decide what to make after swiping the Hope diamond.
Fourth and White Oak beautifies houses and complements curves with a curated catalogue of furniture, home décor, and women’s apparel from designers such as Monoreno, Bluebird and Larry Levine. With the first option, juniors and misses can float away on the breeze in a flowy flutter top ($27+), lassoing a nearby fire hydrant with a pair of stretch leggings when they’re ready to touch down again ($20+). Alternatively, choose the second option to browse ready-made and customizable furniture from Bramble, Stein World, and other brands. An animal-print stool—decorated with choice of zebra or giraffe—brings African safaris indoors ($149.99), or the painted butterflies on a green and yellow side table ($109.99) cheerfully hold coasters, coffee mugs, and old copies of Paper Clip Fancier magazine on their multi-hued backs.