Dixie Home Early History

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carolinatraveler
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Dixie Home Early History

Post by carolinatraveler » 30 Nov 2008 14:37

I am working on some research into the operations that came together to make up Greenville, SC based Dixie Home Stores, and was wondering if anyone can fill in any details. So far, I have uncovered the following:

Working backwards from the point that is available in every Winn-Dixie corporate history, Dixie Home was operating 117 supermarkets at the time of the 1955 merger. Some corporate histories note that there were 44 stores in North Carolina, and 73 in South Carolina.

I question this basic premise, in that I believe there were several locations operating in Georgia (Athens, Elberton, Hartwell), and it may be that these counts indicate their “NC District” and their “SC district”, not bounded by actual state lines. I can only find 35 in NC in 1955, as well, so this is another point where I question the state counts. Can anyone shed any light on this?

As best as I can tell, both Dixie Stores (Greenville) and Home Stores (Columbia) were founded in 1925. I have a September 1940 local ad for Home Stores, indicating a 15th anniversary celebration, and I’ve seen a 1931 listing for Dixie Store #8, Pickens, SC, advertising a sixth anniversary and indicating that the store was opened the first year of operation for the company.

Sometime during the mid-1930s there are some indicators that the two companies were sharing some operations, and I’ve seen an official merger date of 1939, although individual stores retained their status as “Dixie” or “Home” until conversion to the self-service “Dixie Home” operation.

Both companies expanded by purchasing existing operations. For example, when Penders abandoned the Asheville area in June 1933, and seven of the ten city locations changed from Penders to Dixie Stores, along with confirmed locations in Black Mountain, Enka, and unconfirmed locations in Hendersonville and Marshall. Apparently Dixie Stores used this as a springboard to move in to most western NC towns.

East of Asheville, the Home Stores operation was expanding with the 1937 purchase of Lenoir based Carolina Stores. Founded sometime in the 1920s in Lenoir, Carolina Stores operated in excess of 40 sites from Charlotte, Gastonia, Shelby and Forest City north to Boone and Spruce Pine and east to west from Statesville to Marion.

Another North Carolina purchase was along the South Carolina border east of Charlotte, with the purchase, in 1940, of Wadesboro based Allen Stores. Allen had earlier purchased Hamlet based C&P stores, founded in 1926, and Allen was operating 21 stores when purchased by Dixie Home, as per the grand opening announcement of the Dixie Home supermarket in Rockingham in August 1941.

I’m sure their were South Carolina purchases, as well, but have no information on any of them.

I realize that this goes way back, but decided to post what information that I had in hopes that someone else out there was interested in the early history of Allen, C&P, Carolina, Dixie and Home stores and the pre-1955 assembly of the Dixie-Home operation. I am particularly looking for store location lists, and, of course, photos. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Wayne Henderson
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dixiehome169 granitefalls.jpg

krogerclerk
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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by krogerclerk » 30 Nov 2008 16:45

Dixie Home was operating in Georgia at the time of the Winn-Dixie merger. I can cofirm Athens, Elberton and Hartwell being Dixie Home stores. Also, the Augusta area would be a likely candidate. And in Gainesville, the original Winn-Dixie was in Dixie City Shopping Center, so it's likely another Dixie Home market. Toccoa is another likely Georgia location. In either downtown Laurens or Clinton, midway between Columbia and Greenville, the labelscar of an Dixie Home store still existed at least as recent a two years ago, per a photo posted on another website that I can't recall off hand. It's also possible that some of the stores had even existed in Virginia, as Winn-Dixie had a long presence in some towns near the North Carolina border, Danville and Martinsville for instance.

The Winn&Lovett and Dixie Home merger happened well before my birth, but Winn-Dixie had a long presence in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville region of East Tennessee, but all locations appear to employ a Winn-Dixie store design-the Morristown location still had the old W/D logo dating to the early 60's, well into the 90's. Winn-Dixie was operating three stores in Marion, NC as recent as the late 70's, a small town for such a number of stores. Its location east of Asheville means they were likey descendents of both Penders and Carolina stores. Throw in some of the Ketner-Milner stores for good measure as well and you can easily see how the FTC became concerned about Winn-Dixie's aggressive acquisitions of the early postwar era.

That said, it's well known that the modern Food Lion emerged from former KM people leaving after the Winn-Dixie buyout of Ketner-Milner, but few realize that BiLo too emerged from the same fallout in the aftermath of buyout fever.

The legacy of Dixie Home, Steiden,Kimballs, Hills and Ketner-Milner in the history of Winn-Dixie is better documented than such operations as King's, Margaret Ann and Ballentine, of whom little history seems to have been preserved. The irony of all this is the modern post-bankruptcy Winn-Dixie has shed virtually all the territory it gained from these acquisitions, Alabama and New Orleans being Hills areas and the exception to this as the remainder is virtually all Winn&Lovett and Table Supply operations in Florida and South Georgia.

carolinatraveler
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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by carolinatraveler » 30 Nov 2008 19:04

Concerning Winn-Dixie's Virginia operations, their first expansion into Virginia came in late 1959 or early 1960 with the purchase of two Martinsville locations of George's Giant Super Markets. One location was downtown at 66 Fayette Street and there was parking lot signage left there just a few years ago. The other location was a small shopping center site at 1220 Memorial Drive. This location still stands, as well, and can be readily recognized as a supermarket, but not specifically Winn Dixie. I have a copy of the August 1960 article from the Danville newspaper when W-D announced the opening of their first Danville location, in Riverside Shopping Center. It is announced that they were moving a manager from Martinsville to Danville to operate the store. Another early store was purchased about this time in Clarksville, VA, and the next year W-D landed in Lynchburg, with the September 25, 1962 opening of their store in Fort Hill Plaza. It was several more years before the edged into any other markets - I don't find listings for any other stores before 1970 but circa 1970-73 stores were opened in South Boston, South Hill and Emporia, Suffolk and Franklin. W-D expansion into this area was slow and cautious. Locals regarded W-D as "that North Carolina chain" and bought from Norfolk based Colonial or Newport News based Richs, both of whom were strong in the area. Winn-Dixie growth in Virginia, at least east of Interstate 85, came only in the 1980s and 90s, after Colonial was dying, and just before Food Town/Food Lion began extensive expansion. It was probably, in retrosepct, poorly timed considering Food Lion's dominance today.

As for Marion, the W-D operation there decended from the Carolina stores. In 1940 I show a Dixie Home location at 19 W. Henderson St, nothing in 1952 (likely an error), a location at 204-210 S. Main Street in 1956 and 1959. Sometime in 1960 the store relocated to 124 W. Henderson Street, a tiny store that was still operating when I moved back to Western NC in 1987. The only other store I remember was just off North Main Street on the north edge of downtown. This location was still operating at least as late as the mid-1990s, after other stores over in Asheville had closed. I had family members in Marshall who liked a W-D brand sausage, and knowing that I traveled they often had me pick up some while passing through Marion, or through Greeneville, TN where W-D still had a store at the time. I was in the Marion store many times for this purpose in the 1990s.

Wayne Henderson

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buckhead
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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by buckhead » 20 Dec 2008 05:15

The Athens, Georgia Dixie Home store was on Prince Avenue...quite small...and survived as a Winn Dixie until it was replaced by a new build in the Homewood Hills Shopping Center around 1970. I forget what the location is used for now, but at one time it housed an Asian market and maybe a medical supplies location.

The Elberton, Georgia location is on one of the side streets near Georgia 72 IIRC. As a Winn Dixie in the 70's, it sported an outdoor sign unlike any I had seen elsewhere...a round disk W/D surrounded by an oddly shaped frame with another enclosed sign below promoting S&H Green Stamps. I have no pictures of that sign.

One location that MIGHT have been a Dixie Home store originally was the old Winn Dixie in Clayton, Georgia, but I am not sure. The store design seemed to have more in common with the North Carolina store formats.

I believe Dixie Home operated a food manufacturing facility (or at least a facility that Winn Dixie later used for that purpose) in Greenville, South Carolina. I can vouch for the fact that Winn Dixie manufactured prepared salads (pimiento cheese!!!) there for years and emblazoned the location city on the containers.

carolinatraveler
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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by carolinatraveler » 11 Nov 2009 00:01

A visit to the library in Lenoir last week has revealed some early history of the Carolina Stores: The Carolina Stores organization was founded in 1925 with a single store in Lenoir, NC. Expansion was immediate, with additional stores opened within months in Blowing Rock and Morganton. The operation grew to at least 40 stores, when store #40 was opened as Morganton's third location on November 9, 1929. The company went into receivership in January, 1932, and was operating 38 stores at that time in Lenoir, Blowing Rock, Morganton, Hickory, Marion, Boone, Granite Falls, Rutherfordton, Spruce Pine, Old Fort, Elk Park, Valdese, Shelby, Newton, West Jefferson, Gastonia, Newland, Charlotte, Dallas, Lincolnton, Maiden, Black Mountain, Salisbury and Spencer. It is known that earlier stores had existed in Taylorsville and Statesville (2 sites), but these are not listed in the receivership notice in 1932. In November 1935 Mr. R. E. Ebert, owner of Columbia, SC based Home Stores, purchased the operation. News accounts at the time indicate that no changes in name or operation were planned, but by January 1936 store advertisements read "Dixie Stores, successors to the Carolina Stores". Since the formal merger between Greenville SC based Dixie Stores (founded in 1925) and Columbia, SC based Home Stores (founded in 1919) was not confirmed until 1937, this seems to indicate that there was some common ownership, and the Dixie Stores name was chosen for Carolina stores locations, since the name was already in use in western NC. It is possible, but unconfirmed, that stores in the metro Charlotte market could have taken the Home Stores name, since Home Stores was operating there and the name well known in Charlotte at the time of the 1935 purchase. I will research this as time permits.
Fast forward twenty years. On July 27, 1955, the newspapers in Easley, SC announced that Winn & Lovett Grocery Company was purchaing locally owned Ballentime Grocery Stores. Ballentine has opened a single store in August, 1938 in Easley, and had added outlets in Pickens, Clemson, Seneca, Walhalla, Anderson, Hone Path, Abbeville, Greenwood, Ware Shoals, Laurens, Simpsonville, Woodruff, Greer, and New Ellenton. A store was under constuction in Greenville at the time of the purchase. These 16 stores would join 33 other locations of the recently purchased Columbia based Eden Stores, with stores in Columbia, Bamberg, Orangeburg, Sumter, Charleston, Batesburg, Newberry, West Columbia, Walterboro, Conway, Estill, Allendale, Hartsville, Lancaster, Darlington, Camden, Florence, Moncks Corner, Hampton, Aiken, Winnsboro and Bennettsville. Only weeks later, On August 10, 1955, it was announced that Winn & Lovett, with these newly purchased operations in South Carolina, would merge with Greenville based Dixie Home Stores.
There are still pieces missing, but this is the most extensive information we've had on the North and South Carolina growth of Winn-Dixie so far. I hope to have more later.

Wayne Henderson

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by krogerclerk » 11 Nov 2009 03:17

Ballentine and Eden Stores are mentioned as being acquired by Winn-Dixie, but little about their locations and history has been recorded. They obviously had the same basic geography as Dixie Home Stores, so I can understand why the FTC put a moratorium on Winn-Dixie acquiring chains in 1966, though by then most acquisitions that led to the modern Winn-Dixie had already happened. Kings Stores in Georgia is another enigmatic acquisition, no one seems to remember them or know about them. Hills in Alabama and Louisiana was tied to the H. G. Hills chain of Nashville and Red Food of Chattanooga which was also known as Hill's Red Stores, but little is out there as to why the Alabama and Lousiana stores were sold.

The Carolinas gave the chain Dixie Home, Ketner-Milner, Ballentine and Eden Stores and as a result led to the formation of Wrenn&Outlaw/BiLo and FoodTown/Food Lion as former leaders of the absorbed chains left Winn-Dixie and started new chains. Dixie Home survived as a Winn-Dixie private label for many years, I believe Dixie Home Tea was the last brand with the name. Ketner-Milner was a Piggly Wiggly operator, as was Winn&Lovett which operated Lovett's Supermarkets and Piggly Wiggly's in North Florida and South Georgia.

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by rich » 11 Nov 2009 12:26

HG Hill once had a huge footprint dating back to the "grocery store" era, but then let let it shrink to where they were only in Nashville and a few other places in Middle Tennessee by the 1980s. They mention this on their website--they once extended as far as New Orleans and Montgomery, as well as Chattanooga. They were a very conservatively run family-owned chain that never opened on Sunday or sold liquor. I could imagine that they were conservative about money and perhaps could not afford to completely upgrade their operations to supermarkets (w/o a lot of debt) or at least the mid-50s version of supermarkets in their entire region. Their 1950s prototype was a fairly distinctive orange-ish/red brick design with picture windows in front and and a corner entrance, which ran 13K sf. These blanketed Nashville and a few survived into the late 80s as operating HG Hill stores. The last one was near the Vanderbilt medical campus on 21st. I would guess that this uniformity was part of how they controlled costs. They also tended to own real estate and avoided shopping centers, except for some small strips which they owned--the family still owns the real estate.

My guess is that they built few stores after the 70s or early 80s and that the largest stores were probably no more than 30K sf. A large part of the Nashville footprint seems to have been closed after a boycott by African-American shoppers (a significant proportion of these stores were in African-American neighborhoods; Nashville has always had a sizable Black middle class so this would have been a more important market than in many other cities). Newspaper accounts suggested that close to half their stores in Nashville proper were in African-American neighborhoods, but few employees were Black. HG Hill was a "quality" operator known for customer service with a loyal customer base in Nashville and the closet thing to a "fresh foods" store. I don't know if they were like that elsewhere.

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Dave
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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by Dave » 15 Nov 2009 11:32

Here's an old matchbook cover.
dixie.jpg
dixie.jpg (4.73 KiB) Viewed 18751 times

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by carolinatraveler » 17 Jan 2010 17:55

I recently ran across a couple of old Dixie Home related photos. The first shows Carolina Store #39 at 300 N. Main Street in Lenoir. This was the third location in Lenoir, and it opened in November 1929. The other photo shows a 1940s vintage Dixie Home supermarket, on South Main Street in Brevard, as it appeared in the 1950s. Other recent research has identified additional locations for early Carolina Stores, in N. Wilkesboro, Forest City, Spindale, and the Clinchfield section of Marion. Minor details, but maybe of interest to someone.

Wayne Henderson
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Dixie Home Store, Brevard, NC
Dixie Home Store, Brevard, NC
Carolina Stores #39, Lenoir, NC
Carolina Stores #39, Lenoir, NC

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by Corn » 10 May 2012 00:06

Prior to the depression Ed Ebert operated the Company Grocery Store for Pacific Mills on Whaley Street in Columbia, SC. When the Mill Company phased out the Company Store, Ed bought the store and continued operating the store into the 30's. He started other stores under the name of Home Stores, and in the 30's married a young lady whose father just happened to own the Dixie Store chain. The later merger formed the Dixie Home Stores.

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by jackv39 » 28 May 2013 11:10

My late Father worked for Dixie Homes,now Winn Dixie for 45 years. (Retired in 1978) He worked in the Rutherford County,NC area and in Spartanburg,SC(Greenville,SC division). Winn Dixie had very large present in both North And South Carolina. The Davis's were owers or part owners of Winn Dixie. They started the Charles Lee Center in Spartanburg,SC for learning disabilities. Mrs. Vera Davis Parsons lived in Spartanburg,SC(one of the owners) I grew up in Winn Dixie,my late parents met at Winn Dixie.

John Logan

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by TracySchultz » 03 Sep 2013 01:40

carolinatraveler wrote:I am working on some research into the operations that came together to make up Greenville, SC based Dixie Home Stores, and was wondering if anyone can fill in any details. So far, I have uncovered the following:

Working backwards from the point that is available in every Winn-Dixie corporate history, Dixie Home was operating 117 supermarkets at the time of the 1955 merger. Some corporate histories note that there were 44 stores in North Carolina, and 73 in South Carolina.

I question this basic premise, in that I believe there were several locations operating in Georgia (Athens, Elberton, Hartwell), and it may be that these counts indicate their “NC District” and their “SC district”, not bounded by actual state lines. I can only find 35 in NC in 1955, as well, so this is another point where I question the state counts. Can anyone shed any
led lights on this?

As best as I can tell, both Dixie Stores (Greenville) and Home Stores (Columbia) were founded in 1925. I have a September 1940 local ad for Home Stores, indicating a 15th anniversary celebration, and I’ve seen a 1931 listing for Dixie Store #8, Pickens, SC, advertising a sixth anniversary and indicating that the store was opened the first year of operation for the company.

Sometime during the mid-1930s there are some indicators that the two companies were sharing some operations, and I’ve seen an official merger date of 1939, although individual stores retained their status as “Dixie” or “Home” until conversion to the self-service “Dixie Home” operation.

Both companies expanded by purchasing existing operations. For example, when Penders abandoned the Asheville area in June 1933, and seven of the ten city locations changed from Penders to Dixie Stores, along with confirmed locations in Black Mountain, Enka, and unconfirmed locations in Hendersonville and Marshall. Apparently Dixie Stores used this as a springboard to move in to most western NC towns.

East of Asheville, the Home Stores operation was expanding with the 1937 purchase of Lenoir based Carolina Stores. Founded sometime in the 1920s in Lenoir, Carolina Stores operated in excess of 40 sites from Charlotte, Gastonia, Shelby and Forest City north to Boone and Spruce Pine and east to west from Statesville to Marion.

Another North Carolina purchase was along the South Carolina border east of Charlotte, with the purchase, in 1940, of Wadesboro based Allen Stores. Allen had earlier purchased Hamlet based C&P stores, founded in 1926, and Allen was operating 21 stores when purchased by Dixie Home, as per the grand opening announcement of the Dixie Home supermarket in Rockingham in August 1941.

I’m sure their were South Carolina purchases, as well, but have no information on any of them.

I realize that this goes way back, but decided to post what information that I had in hopes that someone else out there was interested in the early history of Allen, C&P, Carolina, Dixie and Home stores and the pre-1955 assembly of the Dixie-Home operation. I am particularly looking for store location lists, and, of course, photos. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Wayne Henderson
Very very exciting historical thread.. I will try to gather detailed information about Dixie Home and construct a thread very soon
Last edited by TracySchultz on 04 Sep 2013 12:36, edited 1 time in total.

jackv39
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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by jackv39 » 03 Sep 2013 09:57

I have a photo from a news paper of Dixie Homes store in Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1951. In 1956, my Father manage this store in Spartanburg South Carolina. My best knowledge is that this store was name Winn-Dixie in 1956. That was one of three Winn Dixie stores my father manage in South Carolina. I don't know how many stores he had. He train Managers also.

His second store was on East Main Street,Spartanburg, South Carolina. I grew up in that store. My father work for Winn-Dixie 45 years. My father also managed stores in North Carolina as well.

Miss Winn-Dixie. Great store.

John Logan

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Re: Dixie Home Early History

Post by jackv39 » 03 Sep 2013 10:20

DixeHome1951.jpeg

Newspaper picture 1951. Spartanburg, South Carolina.


I can barely remember this store. I was in the seat of the buggy when I was in this store. (I was a Baby)

John Logan

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