Brookshire's Became a Grocery Institution Some 100 Years Ago
For close to 100 years, Brookshire has provided folks in the Upper East Side of Texas with the food they live on. Although the grocer now operates 150 stores in three states, its beginnings were much more humble.
On September 21, 1921, brothers Austin and Tom Brookshire opened the first “Brookshire Brothers” grocery store in Lufkin, Texas. The business was basic back then, but the pair wanted a regional presence and so they grew to operating 33 grocery stores in East Texas.
Other family members broke off in 1928. Wood T. Brookshire formed what is now the better known Brookshire Grocery Company with four stores in Tyler. In 2006, the company became employee-owned and today employees number 14,000. The company has 150 retail outlets incorporating grocery stores and convenience stores, as well as free-standing pharmacy, tobacco, and gasoline locations. They operate under the brands of Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods, Spring Market and FRESH by Brookshire’s. The stores are located in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Mr. Brookshire began with four employees in a small, 2,500-square-feet store. He possessed enthusiasm, aggressiveness and the desire to give his customers the best service possible. He soon knew all his customers by name and had them bringing new customers into his store.