Family Express founder Gus Olympidis wins lifetime achievement award

Gus Olympidis, president and CEO, Family Express Corp.

Family Express, the Valparaiso-based chain of convenience stores and gas stations, was named the best convenience store in the state of Indiana.
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The popular culinary website Delish named the best convenience store chain in every state. The website known for its recipes, cookbooks and Keto diet tips honored regional convenience stores from across the country like Wawa, 7-Eleven, Buc-ee's, Love's, Kum & Go, Get-N-Go, QuikTrip, Kwik Trip, Cumberland Farms, Cubby's and Terrible Herbst.

Family Express topped the pack in Indiana.

"This Indiana staple carries its own branded products, like Java Wave coffees, and is famous for its signature square donuts, which get delivered fresh every day," Delish wrote. "Oh, there's also a $4 car wash."

Kelley's Market took the top spot in neighboring Illinois and the homegrown Meijer was recognized as the best in Michigan.

Founded by Gus Olympidis on Christmas Day in 1975, Family Express has grown into a statewide chain known for its upscale colonial architecture, fresh baked items, and in-store brands like The Cravin’s Market, JAVA WAVE gourmet coffees, the JW European Cafe, Buzzed Energy Drinks, Squeeze Freeze frozen carbonated drinks, and Family Express natural spring water and milk.

Family Express now has 75 stores and 900 employers across the state, with most located in Northwest Indiana, the Lafayette area and the Indianapolis suburbs.

The retail company has won many other honors over the years, including being named by the trade publication Convenience Store Decisions as the 2015 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. Earlier this month, Olympidis also was honored with a National Advisory Group Lifetime Award for Convenience Retailing.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.