Our story begins all the way back in 1935.

It was in this year that Clyde and Lila Foeste decided to purchase a two story brick home located at 334 Morgan Oak Street in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and start their business, Southern Oil Company.

To open their business they placed two gas pumps out in front of the house. To maximize the limited space, the Foestes converted their living room into a store, offering oil, fluid, and other automotive products. With a lot of hard work and determination, the business took off.

Clyde and Lila Foeste, our founders
Clyde Foeste
Lila Foeste

After about eight years of operating the gas business out of their home, Clyde and Lila made a business decision to purchase the ground across the railroad tracks at 400 Morgan Oak. It was at this location that their vision came to reality – a gasoline station, garage, and restaurant.

The building had many unique architectural features. This included neon tubing, the placement of glass blocks around the entry, and distinctive lighting throughout the interior and outside property. To advertise their showplace, a bright neon sign was placed by the street; flashing the two words EAT…GAS…at alternate times in the formation of a cross. In addition, the new store was open 24 hours a day, seven days a week—the first of its kind to the region.

The building caught the attention of several people and was considered the finest from St. Louis to Memphis, TN. National attention was brought to the location by the many famous people who frequented the store and restaurant, including Tennessee Ernie Tubbs, Minnesota Fats, Johnny Cash, Clyde McCoy, and Elvis Presley.

And now, over 80 years later...

…our family still provides what this company was founded on: Product Quality, Customer Service and Relationships, and Fair Pricing.

Southern Convenience may not look like a small-town, family-run business when you pull up to our modern, clean c-stores, but you can bet that the same principles that drove Clyde and Lila in 1935 still drive us today. We strive to bring you quality at reasonable prices with everything we do.

As we continue to grow in the future, rest assured our focus remains on taking care of YOU, everyday, in everything we do.