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Brooks Grocery among elite group of grocery store winners

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2024 at 11:30 am

By Dennis Sied – Daily Journal

Since opening the first Brooks Grocery in Iuka, Mississippi in 2010, Brooks and Lisa Davis have had one unwavering mission: providing a customer-friendly, family oriented store offering quality food and groceries at fair prices, from the “Made Right Here” foods to the plethora of locally-made products.

The Davises have two other locations – one in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, opened in 2020 and in Tupelo, Mississippi, opened in 2021 – and if anything, the Davises are even more committed to what they do and how they do it.

Their notable service to their customers, employees and communities has been recognized by The Shelby Report, a grocery and food industry publication, which awarded Brooks Grocery an Exceptional Independents Award.

“They picked a group of retailers across the country and honored us with the award, and it’s very humbling. I never expected to win this award,” said Brooks Davis.

Shelby Publishing’s second annual Exceptional Independents Awards went to 141 recipients across the country. It is a select group, as there are more than 21,000 independent grocery stores nationwide.

Lisa Davis said they were notified earlier this year that Brooks had been nominated for the award.

“We didn’t know anything about it,” she said, adding they were surprised to hear the store not only had been nominated, but had also won.

As it is, they were on hand to receive their award at the National Grocers Association meeting during a reception at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas earlier this month.

“We accepted the award, but really, standing up there with us were all the associates,” Brooks Davis said. “We have the best customers and the best employees, and when you have that, you should expect to win it.”

The recipients of the Exceptional Independents Awards were largely retailers, though they varied in size from single-store operators to regional chains.

Shelby Vice President and Publisher Maggie Kaeppel said independent grocers are the backbone of the industry and are essential to their communities. The awards program was Shelby’s way of shining a light on these businesses that “continue to help feed our communities,” she said.

The Shelby Report Exceptional Independents Awards program was set up to help recognize independents for their contributions to communities and leading the way in care for customers. Qualifications for the award include an independent or regional grocer’s investment in their stores or companies, commitment to supporting neighborhood charities and community involvement and investment in their employees’ training and advancement.

“It’s not about us but about our people and the people we can help,” Brooks Davis said. “Obviously we can’t help every organization because there are a lot of them, but we help as many as we possibly can. It’s part of giving it back and paying it forward, which is very important to us.”

The Davises said all three stores are blessed by the communities they serve. All told, the stores employ 175 people, and the Davises give them the credit for helping them earn such a stellar reputation.

“As humbling as it was to win the award, I know why, and it’s the employees and the customers,” Brooks Davis said. “We couldn’t do any of this without them.”