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    Innovation, Hiring Practices Drive Family Express' Success

    Efficient logistics get perishable products to the company's 57 locations every day.

    VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Family Express may only have 57 stores in north central Indiana, but everyday it takes on the bigger players in the industry. What makes it stand out, according to its president and CEO Gus Olympidis, is the convenience store chain's hiring practices and innovation.

    Speaking before approximately 80 business and community leaders at the 16th Innovators Café on Thursday, Olympidis said Family Express focuses on efficient logistics to get perishable products to its locations once a day, along with providing unique brands of everything from coffee to milk, as well as its square doughnuts, as reported by the Post-Tribune.

    "We start our day competing with folks who are much, much bigger than we are," he said.

    Olympidis also pointed to the company's stringent hiring practices as another key to its success. Only one in 50 applicants is accepted, and the CEO joked that Family Express discriminates against the grumpy.

    In June, Family Express signed up with PeopleMatter to help with talent management, including bringing the hiring process online, as CSNews Online previously reported. At that time, Olympidis said that the c-store chain was gearing up for expansion.

    An example of that expansion was the recent opening of three stores in Lake County, Ind. In early December, Olympidis explained that the company spent $8 million to acquire the property and open the three sites, as CSNews Online reported.

    The Society of Innovators and Ivy Tech Community College Northwest host the Innovators Café, which began in 2005 and rotate around businesses to spotlight innovative practices.

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