About Us

The Story Behind Our Podcast

Behind The Mic

Frank Beard

Show Host

Frank Beard is a Des Moines based retail consultant, speaker, and writer. He travels frequently to visit exceptional stores both across the United States and internationally.

Beard has presented at many events including the NACS Show, National Restaurant Association Show, Summer Fancy Food Show, NACS CEO Summit DACH, AACS Convenience Leaders Summit, and more. His analyses and insights have been featured in NPR, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, Grocery Dive, the Washington Post, Atlas Obscura, and others. He’s also a frequent podcast guest.

Passionate about foodservice, Beard once spent an entire month eating at convenience stores and lived to tell the tale. His “30 Days of Gas Station Food” experiment raised awareness that yes, you really can make healthy choices on-the-go. Beard is also an active cyclist and enjoys participating in RAGBRAI—the nation’s oldest, longest, and largest organized bike ride.

Al Hebert, the "Gas Station Gourmet"

Show Host

Al Hebert is the Gas Station Gourmet. Part travel, but mostly food, the Gas Station Gourmet showcases America’s hidden culinary treasure—gas station cuisine. 

Al is a frequent speaker at industry events, often sharing insights based upon his constant visits to convenience stores and his nearly ten years writing the Gas Station Gourmet column for NACS Magazine. Each month, Al’s column shares the stories of successful, savvy independent retailers who’ve found success with foodservice.

Al resides in Abbeville, LA, where he is the morning news show producer for KADN-TV. 

About the Show

Convenience stores fuel America. Every day, the $654 billion U.S. fuel and convenience retailing industry serves nearly 165 million consumers. From corporate chains with hundreds of stores to the single store that anchors a rural community, Americans from coast to coast rely on this industry to meet their daily needs for meals, snack, beverages, and more. 

This podcast is about the outliers. Forget the restroom keys attached to hubcaps. Yesterday’s dirty, interchangeable convenience store has been replaced by new formats that you actually do want in your backyard—or your nearest interstate exit. We tap into that conversation by featuring longform discussions with leading retailers, suppliers, strategists, and observers. 

This podcast is fun. We recreate the type of memorable conversations that continue late into the night, often over a few drinks. The In-Convenience Podcast is relaxed and authentic. There are no scripted questions, sound bytes, or press releases. Our guests are carefully selected because they’re interesting—not because they’re selling something.