On his second day of opening the new Kum & Go at Dave Ward Drive and Donaghey, Matt Whitney, the general manager, was busy training a few employees, greeting the new customers and grinning at all who came through the door.

"Customer service," Whitney said, "that’s our niche."

There will be an official grand opening with ribbon cutting in a few weeks, but on Friday, cars were lined up at the gasoline pumps and inside, folks were "dressing" hot dogs with kraut and mustard and pouring soft drinks for 99 cents.

"Fridays are milk shake days," Whitney said, watching customers making choices of flavors.

This is the first Kum & Go for Conway, 2050 Dave Ward Drive, with construction of stores in Maumelle and Sherwood on the horizon.

In a press release from the company, President and CEO Kyle J. Krause said: "We’re excited to open Kum & Go’s first store in Conway. This store has been designed with our customers in mind. From fresh food options to a wide selection in products, all aspects of our stores have been configured to focus on delivering fast, friendly customer service."

Another distinguishing feature of Kum & Go’s new store design is the emphasis on sustainability. Kum & Go designs and constructs stores with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in mind. Each store is submitted under these rigorous guidelines to become LEED certified.

Krause said: "As a LEED-certified convenience store, this new Kum & Go includes Solatube skylights, LED lighting both inside and outside the store, low-flow water efficient fixtures and high energy-efficiency equipment. The store was built using many recyclable and locally sourced materials. More information about Kum & Go’s green initiatives can be found at kumandgo.com http://www.kumandgo.com/green-building-practices.aspx.

"We’re passionate about the communities we serve. We demonstrate that passion first by bringing an eco-friendly store," said Krause. "And, second, by giving back. We donate 10 percent of our profits to educational and charitable causes every year."

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)