FriendShip Stores announced the addition of Kirk Matthews to its leadership team as its VP of Food Service and Marketing, replacing Ed Burcher upon his retirement from full-time work.
Matthews, an award-winning marketer, has extensive experience in foodservice, marketing and operations. He joins FriendShip after a highly successful career with Travel Centers of America where he served in a variety of leadership roles since 1997. His immediate role before joining FriendShip was as Director of Store Retail Marketing, Foodservice and Category Management, a position he has held for the past nine years.
“We are excited to have Kirk join our company as we continue with the development and expansion of FriendShip Kitchen,” said co-owner and SVP of FriendShip, Brian Beck. “We are preparing to open our first store in the Columbus, Ohio market next month and Kirk will play a key role in its success along with all of our FriendShip stores. We are excited for the passion and wisdom that he adds to one of the most talented and experienced store and corporate management teams in the industry.”
“FriendShip Kitchen would not be the quick success it has been without the addition of Ed Burcher, VP of Foodservice, to our team in the summer of 2017. In the past three years Ed has helped us translate the FriendShip Kitchen concept into nine brick and mortar locations, while rolling back key concept elements across all 27 stores,” said President Greg Ehrlich. “Ed’s wisdom and skills, which he honed over a storied career starting at Wawa, have changed the way we view our business and go-to-market. We will be forever grateful to Ed and wish him all the best as he continues to share his wisdom and expertise with his clients at Burcher Consulting, while enjoying the powdery slopes of Colorado.”
Upon learning last September that Burcher would be retiring from full-time work, FriendShip launched an extensive search process. The company landed on Matthews due to his broad based experience, enthusiasm and his fit with company culture.
“Filling Ed’s shoes was a challenge as has been transitioning Kirk into our company during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Gregg Edwards, VP of Operations. “We are a 70 year old, family-owned and operated company with a culture-first mindset. Kirk’s personal values and style align perfectly with the Beck family values and was a deciding factor in his selection. While we will certainly miss Ed, we are very excited for what lies ahead for FriendShip Kitchen under the leadership of Kirk Matthews.”
Founded by Virgil Beck in 1950, Beck Suppliers Inc. is a family owned and operated retail and wholesale petroleum marketer. The company distributes Marathon, Sunoco, BP, Shell and Valero motor fuels to independent retailers as well as to its company operated FriendShip and FriendShip Kitchen stores. Beck Propane & Fuels distributes propane and heating oil to thousands of Midwest homes and businesses. Beck Fuel Systems specializes in the installation and removal of petroleum fueling systems, and Beck Car Wash Systems installs, maintains, supports and operates car washes.