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The c-store operator, based here, bought Burger King operations in Beckley, Oak Hill, Princeton and Bluefield, W.Va., and Bluefield, Va. The company opened the store in Bradshaw, W.Va.
When purchased by then-employees Greg Darby and Cory Beasley in 1999, Little General had fewer than 40 stores. The company now operates the 75 c-stores, seven Burger King locations, 29 Subway sites, five Arby's, 17 Godfather's Pizza locations, four Taco Bell restaurants and two Steak Escape operations. Little General employs more than 1,200 people.
"We also support the local economy and the school systems and charities and all of those things," Darby told the newspaper. "We do have a lot of community support, and we support little leagues and school systems and everything out there, really. We try to support anything local in the communities we operate in. It's been exciting to watch it grow."
Darby attributed the company's success to its local roots and good customer service.
Part of the stores' appeal, Darby said, is in the convenience of combining the stores and restaurants, and being "everything to everybody."
"Especially in rural markets or along interstates where people are traveling, they have less time and want to make one stop instead of five stops," he told the newspaper. "It's been a big part of our growth and our success."
The company plans to build additional stores in Pineville and Elkins, W. Va. next year. Darby said there may also be store growth northward, and in Virginia.