For The United Family®, 2016 marks a historic year, as United Supermarkets celebrates the chain’s 100th anniversary. What began as United Cash Store in Sayre, Oklahoma in 1916 has grown into a multi-banner, Texas-based grocery chain with 66 stores in 36 communities. Today, The United Family operates United Supermarkets, Market Street, Albertsons Market and Amigos grocery locations, as well as United Express fuel and convenience stores, throughout West Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth and eastern New Mexico.
“Reaching our 100th anniversary is a remarkable accomplishment, and a true testament to the hard work and dedication of all our team members through the years, as well as our loyal guests in each of our communities,” said Robert Taylor, who was appointed CEO of The United Family in 2010. “Most importantly, this celebration is a tribute to the Snell family, because without their vision and leadership, United wouldn’t be the beloved supermarket it is today.”
To commemorate a century of service, The United Family designed an entire year of initiatives to benefit and improve the communities it serves, a core value of the company since it was founded by Henry Dewitt Snell. The company kicked off the yearlong celebration with a birthday party at all 66 stores on January 16 with a give-away of a total of 100,000 free cupcakes.
Also in January, The United Family will launch Shop to Support Schools, a school donation program, which will challenge community members to get involved and help improve the future of local children. In addition, the company will take a bite out of hunger, donating 100,000 pounds of apples to local food banks across the company’s service areas in April.
“The company has been very fortunate for an entire century to have owners as well as leaders who believe in the core value of supporting communities and doing the right thing,” said Taylor. “In honor of that legacy and to kick off our next 100 years, the 100th anniversary of United Supermarkets will be acknowledged and celebrated in each of our 36 communities in Texas and New Mexico.”
United moved to the company’s now headquarter city of Lubbock, Texas in 1956 when Jack Snell, son of H. D. Snell, purchased three Taylor Safeways. The company continued its expansion over the next four decades under the leadership of Jack and his son, Robert, and by 1991, United stores were in 20 communities throughout Texas.
The company’s continued growth into the grocery-chain it is today was spurred by a strategic growth plan adopted in 1998, which called for new stores, innovative concepts, diverse market expansion and self-distribution.
Also in 1998, Market Street, a new concept focused on healthy meal solutions for busy guests, was introduced in Wichita Falls. The company now operates 15 Market Street locations, including seven in Dallas-Fort Worth. United Supermercado, which is now known as Amigos, was the next concept offered by The United Family, opening in Plainview in 2000. Today, four locations provide a blend of traditional and cultural favorites for Hispanic shoppers in the Lubbock and Amarillo areas.
To express appreciation for the many communities that have support the company, beginning May 31, The United Family will celebrate 100 Days of Giving, presenting $1,000 to a different local non-profit for 100 consecutive days, totaling a donation of $100,000. Also during that time, the company will donate 100,000 additional pounds of food to local food banks in June in preparation for fall and winter when donations are needed most. Lastly, before Thanksgiving, The United Family will spread joy to area children’s hospitals in 12 markets by distributing 1,200 special 100th Anniversary stuffed animals.
“With these programs, in addition to dozens of ongoing initiatives, this year will truly be worthy of our 100th anniversary,” said Shelby Crews, Senior Community Relations Manager for The United Family. “Giving back to our guests has always been a cornerstone of United Supermarkets, and that emphasis will continue as The United Family enters its next century.”
The United Family remained a family-owned supermarket chain for 98 years until becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertson’s LLC on Dec. 27, 2013. In order to take advantage of operational and distribution opportunities, Albertsons realigned 12 locations under The United Family. These stores now operate as Albertsons Market stores in Midland-Odessa, San Angelo and eastern New Mexico.