How the K Got In the Circle

From: Handout
To: Customer Service
Subject: Circle K
Why is this store called CIRCLE K? Why not O K? Or just K? Where did CIRCLE come from? Thanks. 

From: N., Mark 
To: Handout
Subject: answer to your specific question.

Hi Handout,

Circle K originated with the purchase of three convenience stores call “Kay’s Food Stores” in the early 1950s…

The buyer (Fred Hervey) changed the name to “Circle K”…. and the name has lived on..


Mark N.
Director of Human Resources and Training

From: Handout
To: N., Mark
Hi Mark, 

Thanks so much for your reply. I’m just wondering WHY he chose CIRCLE. Why not SQUARE or RECTANGLE or any other shape? or even TRIPLE K or POWERFUL K? Were the stores located in a geographical circle in relation to each other? Did Mr. Hervey already have the logo and so took the name literally from the logo? Thanks for satisfying our curiosity. 


From: N., Mark
To: Handout

As we understand it….

The three original stores were located in El Paso, Texas and the branding Iron used on cows was part of how it originated or the idea of Circle K was derived. In the Original Circle K’s if you would envision a Branding Iron Circle and the K in the center. The original look was truly a Red Circle around a K and the new version that has the red square around the white Circle and the letter K evolved in the early nineties.


newspaper clipping of an advert for "Kay's Food Stores" - store information. illustration of a white woman with a crown on her head. "Kay's The Way" motto.
before Circle K
was Kay’s Food Stores
newspaper advert for "Kay's Food Stores" - announcing opening on "Stanton and Nevada Sts" with "Best Wishes" and "Congratulations" messages from Corporations like Fritos.
newspaper article: "Misenhimer Funeral Set" - "Funeral services for H. Kay Misenhimer who died Saturday will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. He was 71. He had been a resident of El Paso 44 years. He was co-owner of Kay's Food stores before he retired in 1951."
“H. Kay Misenhimer … had been a resident of El Paso 44 years. He was co-owner of Kay’s Food stores before he retired in 1951.”
newspaper article: "Mayor Hervey Expands Business Enterprises"
Mayor Fred Hervey, founder of Circle K.
newspaper article: "Circle K Aims for 1,000 Stores by April"
Circle K expands
newspaper article. "Rapidly Expanding Circle K Chain Cashes In by Stressing Convenience"
newspaper page of commercials.
before Circle K was a store
it was a Ranch
see the “Chopped Beef”
from “Circle K”
GIF from "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" of Ted saying "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K"