Independent grocer celebrates 50 years
When Charles Dennis opened Cedar Lodge Market in 1963, he was just a butcher setting up shop.
Now, 50 years later, his sons Mike and Danny run one of the last independent grocery stores in the state.
“It started in March 1963, and it was about a third of the size it is now,” Mike Dennis said. “It was more or less a meat market with a few groceries.”
The store has changed with the times and somehow preserved its small-town feel as well. It’s grown from a meat market to a full service grocer with produce and, sticking close to its roots, an in-house meat cutter.
“A customer can give us a call and special order thickness or number, and we’ll have it ready for them the same day,” Dennis said.
Dennis said there are probably several keys to the grocery store’s success, including staying very personal.
“We’ve never grown out of one store,” he said. “We’ve had to emphasize our quality and customer service. We always find items if someone wants it and give it a chance.”
The booming days of Cedar Lodge were back in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, before the popularity of Walmart and other big-box stores which has enhanced its need to be customer-centered.
“Nobody’s the cheapest on everything,” he said. “You can’t get quality like this at many of the chain stores.”
To celebrate the market’s 50th anniversary, Dennis said he most likely will have a sale, hot specials, drawings and giveaways for customers.
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AT A GLANCE
Cedar Lodge Market is located at 237 Cedar Lodge Road in Thomasville.
Normal business hours:
• Mon.-Sat.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
• Sun: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.