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OMAHA, Neb. -- On June 7, 1971, Sapp Bros. Travel Centers opened its first truck stop and travel center on 52 acres at the intersection of Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50 here. Over the years, that one store has turned into a chain of 16 located in eight different states.
Now, Sapp Bros. is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The business was created by brothers Ray, Dean, Lee and Bill Sapp. Opening a truck stop and travel center was not their original goal. After each served in the military, they combined assets and purchased a car dealership. However, the brothers quickly learned that truck drivers had difficulty finding their dealership. So, they purchased the 52-acre site to alleviate the problem.
"[The brothers] grew up during the great depression of the 1930s in rural southeastern Nebraska," Paulette Cramer, Sapp Bros. general manager, said in a press release. "Work and money were hard to find and the boys often had to share the meager earnings from their hard work to help the family pay its bills."
Cramer added Sapp Bros. is now the largest petroleum jobber and propane distributor in Nebraska.