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While in his late 20's, E.L. “Buck” Kent started to work for Wickett Refining Company as a traffic clerk responsible for monitoring the railroad shipment of the refinery's products. He later was promoted after convincing the owners and management of the refinery to let him become a local salesman. This idea helped the refinery go from losing money every month to becoming very profitable. Over the years he was promoted and was allowed to buy stock in the business.
In the late 1950's, Wickett Refining Company was liquidated. E. L. "Buck" Kent, as President and major stockholder of Wickett Refining Company in Wickett, Texas, purchased Reed Oil Company and Reed Distributing Company of Big Spring, Texas. These new companies operated as subsidiaries of Wickett Refining until the decision was made to sell the refinery. Upon the sale of Wickett Refining, Inc.. In 1957, E. L. Kent, a West Texas native from Eldorado, took 100% ownership in Reed Oil and Reed Distributing. Upon assuming complete ownership, the names were changed to Kent Oil and Kent Distributors.
In 1975, the company opened its first convenience store, when it remodeled one of its service stations in Odessa at 601 West County Road. This was the beginning of a new direction for the Kent companies as selling retail gasoline by itself was a marginally profitable business.
Kent Lubrication Centers is formed and began operating full service quick oil change centers in the Midland and Odessa area. Kent Lubrication Centers were the first ten minute oil change operations in West Texas.
In 1978, Bill Kent, Buck's youngest child, joined the companies full time after graduating from Arizona State University.
In November 1984, Bill Kent purchased 100% ownership of Kent Oil and Kent Distributors. The companies at that time operated 12 high volume convenience stores, a few service stations and 6 Kent Lubrication Fast Oil Change Centers.
In 1988, Kent Lubrication Centers agreed to become a franchisee of Avis Services, Inc., operators of Avis Lube Fast Oil Change Centers. Avis Lube was a subsidiary of Avis, Inc., a world leader in the rental car business. In August of 1991, Avis decided to exit the franchise business for quick lubes and through negotiations the franchise agreement was terminated. Kent Lube then entered into a licensee agreement with Avis and today all of the units operate under the Avis Lube Fast Oil Change Center name.
It doesn't get any easier than ice cream and that's why The Kent Companies decided Baskin Robbins was the perfect addition to our family of companies. Oh yeah, and Mr. Kent loves his chocolate ice cream. It was his dream as a child to own his own ice cream store. In the mid 1990's the Baskin Robbins franchise was acquired and Bill Kent's dream was a reality.
KF Financial was created, which consisted of being a Mr. Payroll Check Cashing Franchisee in the Permian Basin. Mr. Payroll, the franchisor, is a subsidiary of Cash America, a publicly traded company. The business conveniently cashes payroll/income tax checks, accepts utility payments, provides Western Union services, and miscellaneous other financial services.
In 2003, the company purchased the ATM machines that were located inside of the Kent Kwik Convenience stores.
In 2007, The Kent Companies became a franchisee of Huddle House Incorporated upon purchasing an existing location in East Texas.
The company revamped its in-store food program for all of the Kent Kwik locations. The new model consisted of all food being made fresh daily and delivered to all locations. This is why the Kwik Eats brand is known for having fresh, great tasting food at all times.
The company got into the car wash business when it opened its first state of the art car wash with three bays (2 soft touch and 1 touch free) open 24 hours with attendants to do pre-scrub and complementary drying.
The Kent Companies has always believed in community involvement. Our longest relationships and greatest contributions have been with Boy Scouts and Easter Seals. We have also contributed to United Way, MARC, Commemorative Air Force, Volunteer Fire Fighters, Rays of Hope, MDA and other various charities. Involvement in our community will continue to be an important part of our mission. Click button below for Sponsorship/Donation Request Form...
Careers at Kent
Employment opportunities at The Kent Companies start at entry level and soar limitlessly into upper level executive management. Although we have many great team members now we will always make room to talent. Talent and potential are our future. Whether you have aspirations as an accountant or are just looking for your first job and like to work on cars, we are looking for friendly faces ready to take care of our customers.