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As one of the oldest grocery wholesale cooperatives in America, Associated Grocers of the South, Inc. celebrated its 75th Anniversary in fiscal year 2003. The history of Associated Grocers dates back to 1927 when a group of 13 neighborhood grocers in Birmingham, Alabama, gathered in Larry Grimes' small store to address the onslaught of chain stores and their devastating impact on the independent grocer. The goal of these enterprising gentlemen was to find a way to compete with these chains and thus continue to serve their neighborhoods through offering the lowest cost and highest quality of products. Therefore, they chose to pool their buying power through forming a grocery cooperative. From this modest beginning, Associated Grocers has grown from a 2,500 square foot public warehouse to a facility comprised of 455,613 square feet of operational and administrative space.

Not only has our physical plant grown, our range of services added through the years for our member stores now includes: merchandising, advertising, retail accounting, retail development, computer-generated truck routing, and on-line invoicing. We presently serve over 300 independent grocers in a five-state area including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and the panhandle of Florida, with over 16,000 SKU's.

Since its inception in 1927, the underlying principle of buying the highest quality products at the lowest available cost remains the same. Associated Grocers offers its members today the same thing the thirteen founding members originally desired, simply a realistic chance to control their own financial destiny. Because Associated Grocers is retailer owned and operated, the retail members' wants and needs are always the first and foremost priorities for its management. For this reason, Associated Grocers will continue to survive and thrive as it grows and evolves into the 21st century.


Copyright, 2003, Associated Grocers