PHOTO GALLERY: The United Family Celebrates 100 Years in Business

LUBBOCK, Texas — 2016 marked a historic year for The United Family as it continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of United Supermarkets.

The United Family began as United Cash Store in Sayre, Okla., in 1916, which has grown into a multi-banner, Texas-based grocery chain with 73 stores in 41 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 Texas and 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, CEO of The United Family. “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 a year-long celebration that includes initiatives to benefit and improve the communities it serves, which has been a core value of the company since it was founded by Henry Dewitt Snell, the company said in a news release.

The year-long event kicked off Jan. 16 with a birthday party at all 66 stores and gave away a total of 100,000 free cupcakes. That month the company also launched Shop to Support Schools, a school donation program that challenges community members to get involved to help local children’s futures.

“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,” Taylor commented. “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.”

Other events included:

  • Donating 100,000 pounds of apples to local food banks across the company’s service areas in April.
  • The 100 Days of Giving program, in which The United Family presented $1,000 to a different local non-profit for 100 consecutive days, beginning May 31, for a total donation of $100,000.
  • Donating 100,000 pounds of food to local food banks in June in preparation for fall and winter when donations are needed the most.

The United Family will also distribute 1,200 special 100th anniversary stuffed animals to children’s hospitals in 12 markets before Thanksgiving.

“With these programs, in addition to dozens of ongoing initiatives, this year will truly be worthy of our 100th anniversary,” said Shelby Crews, former 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 moved to its company’s headquarters in Lubbock in 1956, when Henry Dewitt Snell’s son Jack purchased three Taylor, Texas Safeways. The company continued its expansion over the next four decades under the leadership of Jack and his son, Robert. By 1991, The United Family stores were in 20 Texas communities.

The company’s continued growth is part of a strategic plan adopted in 1998, which called for new stores, innovative concepts, diverse market expansion and self-distribution, The United Family noted.

In 1998, Market Street — a new concept focused on healthy meal solutions for busy guests — was introduced in Wichita Falls, Texas. The company now operates 15 Market Street locations. United Supermercado, also known as Amigos, was the next concept introduced by The United Family in Plainview, Texas, in 2000. Today, the concept has four locations in the Lubbock and Amarillo, Texas, areas.

The United Family remained a family-owned supermarket chain for 98 years until becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertson’s LLC in 2013. In order to take advantage of operational and distribution opportunities, Albertsons realigned 12 locations under The United Family and these stores now operate as Albertsons Market stores.

Click on the images above to view just a few organizations that benefited from The United Family’s 100 Days of Giving.

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