share. The Brookshire's Blog

Happy Anniversary, Brookshire’s and Shreveport!

Fifty years…man, a lot can change in 50 years.

For instance, take 1961—the year Brookshire’s first opened in Shreveport.

John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States, while East Germany erected the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin.

Either a half gallon of milk or five pounds of sugar would run you a little more than four bits. Scanning checkout wouldn’t appear in our grocery stores for another 18 years!

And moving across the state line into Louisiana was a bold move for Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire’s, which operated only 16 stores at the time. But on February 9, they did just that, opening Store No. 17 on Lakeshore in Shreveport. That was followed by the opening of Store No. 18 on Fern on March 14 in Shreveport.

Now, our company employs about 1,500 people in Shreveport and northwest Louisiana alone.

When I think about the stores and partners we have at locations such as Line Avenue, Pines Road, Greenwood Road, Bert Kouns, North Market, Mansfield Road and Kings Highway, I realize we have some of the best supermarkets and service-oriented people in the industry today.

We also have some of the best customers, those who love “their store” and have remained loyal Brookshire’s shoppers the entire half-century of our existence in Shreveport.  As life as we know it continues to change so rapidly, I hope the relationship Brookshire’s has with Shreveport and its surrounding communities will always remain the same.

Here’s to us…happy anniversary!

Walks, Fun Runs and Runs, Oh My!

When did spring become known as the season of the 5K?
It’s amazing how many fundraisers pop up in the form of walks and fun runs (for great organizations, by the way, such as Susan G. Komen, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and on).
I used to be competitive in 10Ks and 5Ks—about 10 years and 30 pounds ago.
Now I start to feel guilty when I think about signing up for races again and don’t because I’m afraid some 11-year-old Justin Bieber look-alike will lap me.
I know they’re for good causes and all, and that the events raise money and awareness to help people. A large number of my co-workers and other BGC employees get involved in these fundraising celebrations and cook, prepare and hand out food and drinks on top of being sponsored to walk, jog and run the races.

I guess I need to either get off my rear and work at getting back in racing form again or stop worrying about competition and just enjoy myself.
The first thing, I know, is to sign my name on an entry form. The second—to take a trip to a sporting goods store,  as my running shoes are now grass-stained clogs with frayed laces that barely resemble running shoes.
Then maybe the rest will fall into place?


Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes

Growing up around the fields, forests and swamps of rural north Louisiana, I was warned at an early age to freeze in my tracks if I ever heard an unmistakable rattle sound, regardless of what I could—or could not—see. My brothers and I even ran around the yard with old snake rattles our papaw had collected. We’d shake them at each other as rapidly as we could, I guess so we’d know what a timber rattler would sound like should we ever have the misfortune of stumbling upon one in the woods.

Several years ago I was surprised to learn of a huge celebration centered around—you guessed it—rattlesnakes. It’s Sweetwater, Texas’ Rattlesnake Roundup, and it’s touted as the largest of its kind in the world. There is a parade, a pageant and a carnival. There are guided hunts and arts and crafts. There are even cook-offs celebrating the area’s Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, to me one of the scariest creatures in existence.

This year the festivities begin March 12, and Brookshire’s in Sweetwater is a  major sponsor of the attraction that has grown each year since it began more than 50 years ago. Employees from our store will be there to volunteer during the roundup as well.

So if you’re unlike me and want to get face-to-face with a deadly reptile, by all means head west. After  you pass Abilene, stop off at Sweetwater, and you’ll see the commotion with crowds of west Texans and visitors from across the U.S. and beyond. Just remember to keep your eyes—and ears—open.

Store Volunteers Discover the ‘Sweet’ Side of 4-H & Ag Programs

The 32nd annual Hill County Fair celebrated showmanship for young people primarily, but residents of all ages enjoyed many festivities there January 26-29. The team from Brookshire’s was heavily involved this year, and Store Director Angela Ables from Hillsboro, Texas, had her fill of cake by helping judge a baking contest on Tuesday. Though some of the 30 entries were tastier than others, the division winner she helped select (from Hillsboro High School’s creative arts and education class) beat out all the rest to capture the grand prize. Then, she and others from Brookshire’s helped operate the 4-H concession stand on Thursday.  On Saturday a group participated in the “Premium Auction” to purchase livestock and other animals—which are typically given back to the students. Efforts such as this are the norm for store managers across the company;  in fact , BGC donates more than $100,000 a year through livestock purchases with employees attending many fairs and shows across the Ark-La-Tex. It’s another way we help our communities—backing students and schools that maintain a healthy agriculture and creative arts curriculum. And, on occasion, the volunteer duties turn out to be pretty “sweet”—as Angela discovered recently.

Giving brings the true meaning of Christmas to life

Some could not go outside without difficulty, being in wheelchairs or using oxygen just to get from room to room. Some were nearly 100 years old and alone and just needed some extra assistance. Others simply didn’t have the means to afford many of the basics or were experiencing difficult circumstances. 

I’m talking about people I met this week who received a food box in the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive sponsored by our company and a multitude of service groups. 

In our area the Tyler-Rose City Kiwanis Club coordinated the distribution, and my family helped make deliveries to about 25 residences. A countless number of volunteers, including many BGC employees, pitched in to do the same in this project. 

Most on the receiving end wanted to talk. Most seemed overjoyed to have a visitor right before Christmas. All expressed appreciation for the gift, and some wouldn’t let us leave without a hug. 

We benefited more, though, from the joy of being able to help someone and to count our blessings. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

The spirit of giving makes ‘Spirit of Christmas’ work

As we move closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas I’m reminded of the countless number of community leaders and volunteers who not only hold full-time jobs, but also spend much of their “free time” helping those around them who are less fortunate.
Those who partner with our stores in the Spirit of Christmas Food Drive are such people, spending early mornings picking up boxes of cans at a store or school and working late evenings sorting, boxing, moving and storing items.
Each year from the middle of November through late December we team up to accumulate more than 500,000 pounds of food for approximately 16,000 families in our tri-state service area.
Our company supplies boxes, coupons for free baking hens and gift cards, among other donations, to make the food drive our largest community service project. Thousands of individuals from all walks provide the manpower to follow through and get the food to those who need it most.
It works because people are still willing to give, and I believe that’s what the season’s all about. Happy holidays! 

Heroes For All Time

They’re called “The Greatest Generation.” Americans who worked, prayed, sacrificed and fought their way through the Great Depression and global chaos when war broke out in Europe in 1939. Their lives were hurled into the fight when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

The men and women who went on to serve in World War II are heroes for all time. They protected America and our freedoms and liberated people all over the world. Today, we’re losing these veterans at a rate of 1,000 a day, so Brookshire Grocery Co. decided to sponsor the WWII Heroes Flight to Washington DC.

October 5-6 the company will provide an all-expense-paid trip for 37 WWII veterans from east Texas to visit the World War II Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and United States Capitol. As one person put it—there’s not much time left to honor them in this way, and most of these veterans have never seen their memorial. It is an experience of a lifetime to take such a trip, and we are proud to say “Thank You” and pay tribute to this special group of heroes.

We Support MDA!

We all face challenges or obstacles sometimes that disrupt our lives or put our plans on hold. We may lose our patience, get frustrated and expect resolutions immediately!

When you spend a little time with individuals who have muscular dystrophy, you quickly realize how small many of our “problems” are. Even the youngest folks you meet who are living with neuromuscular disease seem to put on the bravest face and give it the toughest fight–without complaint or frown. They live with hope for a cure and appreciation for everyone who joins in their fight.

Each year Brookshire Grocery Co. and many of its vendors contribute to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. And we give customers a chance to help in the “Check Out A Cure” program that runs in August. Together, we raised a little more than $52,000 this year. In the past three years BGC has been able to give more than $272,000 to MDA and clients served in our markets. Funds provided help pay for physical therapy, assistance with repairing durable medical equipment, support groups, clinics and, most important, worldwide research. Children between the ages of six and seventeen also get to enjoy a magical week at MDA summer camp at no cost to them or their family.

Our employees have a blast at the group’s Labor Day telethon each year, but we know any time is a great time to give–whether by donating money or volunteering.

Get to know more about this organization and its extended family, and by all means support the fight against muscular dystrophy!

Back to School time!

School days, school days…ahhhhh…It’s almost that time again—bus stops, tardy bells, recess and pop quizzes!

Every child needs a good start for the new school year, and opportunities abound to help students who might be at a disadvantage.

In cities and towns across the Ark-La-Tex, people are conducting school supply drives, “stuff the bus” campaigns and donation programs to help young ones get ready for back-to-school time.

One such project involves KVNE and KGLY radio stations and nearly 30 of our supermarkets in east Texas. The group is collecting backpacks to help kids through services offered by People Attempting To Help, St. Paul Children’s Foundation, Buckner Children and Family Services, and Orphan Outreach.

Many children’s homes are conducting drives for their students as well, and these are all worthy causes to support.

Getting adjusted to new surroundings, friends and classes can be challenging enough. Let’s pitch in and give the kids one less thing to worry about this fall!

Blood’s a Big Deal–and Not Just to Hollywood Vampires!

Blood–you gotta’ have it. And we may not realize the importance of donating blood until it hits home in the form of a tragedy or accident involving friends or family members.

Normally our blood centers’ supplies are fine, but there are times when they have to ship blood to other areas to cover special needs or the number of donors drops during a certain period. That’s one reason our company has held blood drives at stores, corporate offices and distribution centers for years.

At our company headquarters in Tyler we routinely offer incentives for employees who donate blood, such as chances to win prizes. Very recently one of our stores in West Monroe, La., had nearly 50 people to donate blood in about five hours. Several had to be diverted to another location due to the line of people waiting to give.

Some of our East Texas stores in Athens, Palestine, White Oak and Tyler are planning blood drives in August with chances to win a Sadler’s Tender Split Beef Brisket. When you see that blood center bus pull up, make an effort to go help. A little stick, and it’s done. If helping save someone’s life isn’t reason enough, there’s always the tee shirt, cookie and juice, right? And you never know–you might just win a brisket!

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Copyright © 2010-2014, Brookshire’s. All rights reserved.
The products mentioned in “Share, the Brookshire’s Blog” are sold by Brookshire Grocery Company, DBA Brookshire’s . Some products may be mentioned as part of a relationship between its manufacturer and Brookshire’s.

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