Associated Foods celebrates 60 years

Published 3:38 pm Monday, June 26, 2017

Associated Foods is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Clanton location throughout the next week leading up to the Fourth of July.

The grocery store first opened in Clanton on July 5, 1957 and was named Dixie Super Store. It was the vision of John L. Davis Sr.

The grocery store remains a family business, as Phillip Davis continues to share ownership along with his cousin Bill Davis. Together they carry on the legacy of their grandfather.

“My son-in-law is in the business and hopefully they can continue it for many years to come,” Phillip Davis said. “Not too many family businesses make it third generation, but we’re shooting through that and hoping to be at No. 4.”

To celebrate the momentous occasion, Associated Foods is offering several promotions and sales to its customers.

Giveaways are scheduled throughout the week. Items include 60 Igloo coolers (one for each year in business), a bicycle, basketball goal and Six Flags tickets.

The Ribs To Go wagon will also be out in front of the store with specials of its own.

“I’d like to invite anybody who has ever worked for us in the past to come by and say hello,” Davis said. “Tell us who your store manager was and your story.”

Davis has personally been involved in the grocery business since becoming a bag boy at 14 years old.

“I’ve seen a lot of kids come in over the 60 years and they end up coming in years later with their families,” Davis said.

Over the years technology has played an important and ever changing role within the day-to-day store operations.

Perhaps the biggest change he has witnessed is in placing an order to refill stock.

“You used to have to fill out what you wanted on an order slip and mail it in and you would get your groceries a week later,” Davis said. “Today you can electronically place an order and have groceries in your store tomorrow.”

For the first 10 years after opening the store’s original location was behind where it is currently on Highway 31.

Upgrades have been made to the store in recent years that include a new parking lot, LED sign by the road, new floors and refrigeration equipment.

“We’ve had an increase [in customers] since the remodel,” Davis said. “It has helped out quite a bit.”

Associated Foods has six locations throughout Alabama, including Clanton, Calera, Brent, Leeds, Tarrant and Birmingham.

For a long time there were two locations within the Clanton city limits.

“This [Clanton location] has been a real good one for us,” Davis said. “It would be neat to be here 100 years.”