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Super Foods named Gold Retailer of the Year title

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SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL:

Super Foods Supermarkets earns Gold 2016 Retailer of the Year in the more than $20 million sales category.  John M. Wilson, president, chief operating officer and co-owner, was recognized Tuesday at the Alabama Retail Day Awards Luncheon hosted at Vestavia Hills Country Club in Birmingham.

“I am truly honored to be here today and to be able to be amongst so many inspiring and successful Alabama retailers,” said Wilson.  “This has truly been a surreal and wonderful time in which our entire company is honored to be presented with such a prestigious award.”

Super Foods Supermarkets, with locations in Greenville, Evergreen and Luverne, was one of 13 finalists for the 2016 Alabama Retailer of the Year award.  A panel of judges representing the media, Chambers of Commerce, retail developers, retailers and academic community, selected 12 of the finalists from a pool of more than 70 nominated retail and restaurant owners, 41 of which were submitted entries.  The public chose one of the finalists through a poll on the Alabama Retail Association’s Facebook page.  Other finalists included retailers with locations in Alabaster, Auburn, Birmingham, Clanton, Cottondale, Cullman, Dothan, Evergreen, Gadsden, Homewood, Huntsville, Luverne, Mobile, Montgomery, Mountain Brook, Northport, Orange Beach, Tuscaloosa, Trussville, Fairhope, Florence, Gulf Shores, Scottsboro and Wetumpka.

The Alabama Retailer of the Year awards program, started in 1999, honors outstanding retailers who have demonstrated growth, innovation and a commitment to their respective communities.

Wilson and Super Foods were nominated by Francine Wasden, executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.  “Super Foods does all of their business locally,” said Wasden.  “They bank local, shop local and invest local.  The dollars and goods donated by Super Foods annually allow the wheels of business opportunities to continue turning in our community.”   The Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce named super Foods the 2016 Distinguished Business of the Year.

Wilson attributes the company’s 45-year-old business success to something his late father and founder of the family business told him. “You can’t expect people to trade with you and shop with you, if you don’t give back to the community.”  Wilson and his 95-year-old mother, Alyce, carry out that philosophy in the stores they own jointly.  “She is still very involved in the business,” said Wilson.  Three generations of Wilsons play a role in the company.  John’s wife, Lillian, serves as human resources director, while his four daughters also work alongside their father, mother and grandmother.

“The people who work here day in and day out, they are the ones who make the business,” said Wilson.