NEW LONDON — It's not news that Kwik Trip has a cult following in the Midwest. However, one Wisconsin man's love for the gas station and convenience store blows all other fans out of the water.
Brent Erdmann from New London visited 615 Kwik Trip locations across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa in 2020.
"I'm not aware of anybody that’s done it before," Erdmann said.
He started in January. Brent got inspired when he saw his number of locations visited increasing year-over-year in the recap Kwik Trip sends rewards members every year.
"I was at 93 different stores (in 2019), and I think that even the year before that (2018) when I think I was at 40-something. That kind of just triggered me to - let's see how we can get here."
He ended up going to 615 out of around 750 stores across the Midwest. He bought a snack at each location to "make it count." This involved a lot of driving. Brent estimates he traveled around 50,000 miles on his journey.
He would go on mini road trips to cross off more Kwik Trips. He'd stay at hotels and average about four Kwik Trips an hour. However, his most impressive feat came right before the end of the year. To go out with a bang, he spent 24 hours on Dec. 30 going to 71 different stores.
"I was pretty happy with that number," he said.
Brent did most of this during his off time, but he was furloughed in the summer which allowed him to visit more stores.
His favorite store was one in Eau Claire that features a self-checkout option. He also liked it because it was just a store, no gas station.
Things became tricky with the pandemic, but that didn't stop him. In fact, it was an escape for him and semi cathartic being on the road traveling to new Kwik Trips.
"Going through all the things going on last year, it was kind of something more to, you know, just use this to get through, keep up...all the hard times a lot of people went through last year."
This map illustrates all the Kwik Trips he has been to since 2019. Blue represents 2019, Red for 2020, and Black for 2021.
Brent also has a map of all the stores he is yet to visit, but plans on going to one day.
Kwik Trip is popular among many Wisconsinites. For Brent, it's because of the chain's reliability.
"Needed to stop and take a break somewhere, or needed something quick to eat, or, it just comes through for ya."