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    Open Pantry Vows to Support CITGO Commitment

    Chief executive clears up rumors about its relations with CITGO.

    PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. -- Open Pantry Food Marts will continue to honor its fuel commitments with supplier CITGO, a relationship that has spanned 25 years, said president and chief executive Robert A. Buhler.

    After local media associated Open Pantry and its fuel contracts with CITGO to 7-Eleven's announcement that it would discontinue its relations with the supplier, the company felt the need to "set clear Open Pantry's current contractual obligation."

    "Oil and politics often times creates an explosive discussion," Buhler said in the release. "Hugo Chavez's remarks are not warranted and we in no way support his reasons for those remarks. The hard-working CITGO people in the United States daily deliver product on a professional and continual basis for our customer base in Wisconsin extremely well. These people I care about and choose to call my partners."

    Buhler added: "All politics should be put aside on this issue and frankly and purposely contorted and impractical to the true delivery of fuel in the United States by CITGO."

    Open Pantry consists of 33 corporate stores, three franchise stores and 11 dealer locations throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The Pleasant Prairie, Wis.-based company is the second largest convenience store chain in the state. It has been in business since 1966, under the ownership of Robert W. Buhler, and, since 1997, under the ownership of Robert A. Buhler.

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