Already one of Kentucky’s largest privately held companies, Thorntons will add a sixth state as it becomes a regional player.

The Louisville-based chain of fuel/convenience stores is pushing into the Florida market, the first state/metro market the company has added since opening in Nashville in 2007, according to a news release.

The first Thorntons location in Florida is scheduled to open in spring, 2013 in Clearwater, according to a news release.

But Thorntons’ strategic plan for the region is to add 15 to 20 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area stores in the next three years, according to the release.

The release did not give a figure for the total projected investment.

Thorntons already operates in five states – Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee, according the company’s website.

Founded by Kentucky native James H. Thornton in 1971, Thornton’s has more than $2.3 billion in revenue, according to the company website.

The company bills itself as Kentucky’s largest privately held corporation. However, Forbes magazine disagrees, listing Bowling Green-based Houchens Industries, a grocer/financial services giant (they own Hilliard-Lyons) as Numero Uno in Kentucky, with $2.67 billion in revenue for 2010.

About Thorntons: Thorntons operates 165 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas. Thorntons distributes its petroleum products through its wholly owned Thornton Transportation Company and operates a river bulk storage terminal in Louisville. For more information visit and follow us on Facebook at and Twitter at