Lou Perrine’s Gas & Grocery has been a staple of Wisconsin’s Kenosha community since 1954. After taking the helm in 2008, Anthony Perrine carefully differentiated and evolved his brand while retaining a community focus. This episode is full of practical advice, but we also discuss edgy topics. Put on the headphones if you’re at the office!

About Anthony Perrine

Anthony Perrine is the owner of Lou Perrine’s Gas & Grocery—a convenience store proudly serving Kenosha, WI for more than 60 years.

Originally founded by his grandfather in 1954, Anthony entered the business in 2008. Known for its iconic Ho Ho Cake, friendly staff, and local delivery service, Lou Perrine’s will soon celebrate the opening of its second gas station and restaurant. As an active entrepreneur, Anthony also operates a salon and spa and previously operated a trucking company.

Anthony is active both in his community and the convenience retailing industry. At home, he has served as a youth pastor and is part of a team helping to lead the charge to legalize the sale of marijuana in Wisconsin. Passionate about retail and brand building, he is also a frequent speaker at events and an active member of the National Association of Convenience Stores. (NACS) Most recently, Anthony participated in the 2019 NACS Day on the Hill—joining retailers across from across the U.S. who meet with legislators to discuss concerns.

Outside of work, Anthony has recently participated in local boxing events. He will also host his first stand-up comedy show in February.


  • 03:42 – The Ho Ho Cake Bandit – Turning a crisis into a marketing opportunity 
  • 10:11 – What is Ho Ho Cake? How Lou Perinne’s developed their famous dessert 
  • 17:20 – Starting fresh, taking a new direction, and becoming a destination store
  • 22:12 – Social media – Edgy content, lessons learned, and how to drive results without paying for traditional forms of marketing
  • 30:27 – An edgy social media post that generated backlash—but also support from brand advocates
  • 34:42 – Why authenticity matters
  • 38:27 – How “Blue Ocean Shift” changed Anthony’s perspective on convenience retailing
  • 45:42 – What Anthony figured out about hiring and retaining top talent
  • 57:20 – What are the c-stores who struggle with employee quality doing wrong?
  • 1:00:32 – Lessons from operating a delivery service, and how a new app was built by college students
  • 1:07:32 – Cannabis, CBD, and legalizing marijuana 
  • 1:19:07 – What’s on Anthony’s radar for 2020? Politics, electric vehicles, and more.
  • 1:28:47 – What will the store of the future look like for the small guys? Anthony talks about how independent convenience stores can stand out and win
  • 1:35:57 – Why it’s important to build a powerful brand
  • 1:40:12 – Some independent operators feel like innovation isn’t for them. Anthony explains why that’s a mistake
  • 1:46:12 – Stop working “in” your business, and start working “on” your business

Anthony’s Recommended Books and Podcasts


Connect with Anthony and Lou Perrine’s Gas & Grocery