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Sharon Boyett Wins Big in Vegas

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced the grand prize winners of the 11th Annual Store Manager Awards on May 12, and Brookshire’s Sharon Boyett from Monroe, La., was selected winner in the category of supermarket chains with 50 -199 stores.

Dave McCleery with Russ’s Market in Lincoln, Neb., won the division for chains with up to 49 stores, and Molly Stiles with The Kroger Co. in Farragut, Tenn., won the division for chains with 200-plus stores.

The three grand prize winners were chosen from a group of nine finalists, recognized at FMI’s convention in Las Vegas, and presented $1,000 and an engraved award.

“FMI salutes these extraordinary store managers for the leadership they show their associates, the contributions they make in their communities and the creative ways they use to increase sales,” said FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. “Finalists are selected based on stories submitted from their supervisors or store associates. The entries were judged on originality and creativity and the person’s impact on sales growth, customer satisfaction and community service.”

“We are thrilled Sharon has been named the best of the best in our industry,” said BGC President and CEO Rick Rayford. “She works hard year after year, and is committed to making sure her store and employees treat and serve customers better than anyone else. There are none more deserving of this honor than Sharon. We are fortunate to have her as a store director in our company.”

She was nominated for motivating employees and empowering them to be successful. She uses contests to improve team performance, reward employees and create a fun work environment. She conducts monthly classes that focus on a particular product in the store to educate everyone about items in the store. She uses theme events throughout the store to increase sales including a tailgate demonstration day and Friday night wine and deli pairings. Her team is active in several charitable organizations including answering phones for the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, providing snacks for the Adopt-A-School program, and sending care packages to troops overseas.

She is a 13-year employee who started out in the company’s management training program. She went on to serve as an assistant store manager, co-director and store director.

FMI conducts programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations on behalf of its 1,500 member companies–food retailers and wholesalers–in the United States and around the world. FMI’s U.S. members operate 26,000 retail food stores and 14,000 pharmacies. Their combined annual sales volume of $680 billion represents three-quarters of all retail food store sales in the U.S. 

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Mission Accomplished

In appreciation of their service, 38 east Texas World War II veterans were honored with an all-expense paid trip to Washington DC on May 11-12 to visit the World War II Memorial and other sites. Expenses for the trip were paid by BGC.

In addition to the World War II Memorial, veterans were also able to visit Arlington National Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They also visited the Iwo Jima Memorial and the US Capitol where they were given a personal tour by Representative Louis Gohmert. Many veterans were also able to see the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.

One of the highlights of the trip was the welcome the veterans received on arrival at the airport in Washington DC. In addition to a water salute as the plane approached the gate, the veterans were honored inside by active duty US Marines as well as cheers and applause from hundreds of other citizens.

“Visiting the World War II Memorial was wonderful,” said Hal Johnson of Canton. “But that tribute from those active duty soldiers…that was something special.”

Another highlight of the trip was letters presented to the veterans from local students at “mail call.” Students from Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, Grace Community School in Tyler, Velma Penny Elementary in Lindale and Bullard Intermediate and High School wrote messages of gratitude to the veterans.

“I’m sure proud of the kids and the way their teachers have taught them,” said Al Stevens of Tyler. “They seem to know what it means to win and lose a war. They expressed themselves so well and seem to understand that we have our freedoms today because somebody defended them.”

Dave Spencer of Pittsburg added, “They weren’t long letters, but they showed true appreciation. I’ve read my letters three times. One asked me to write back and said she always wanted a pen pal that was a World War II vet. She’s got one in me.”

Stevens added, “It was just one surprise after another. From the time we met at the store with the cheering crowd to returning back the next night to the nice flag tribute from the Welcome Home Soldier group, it was just wonderful. It was quite an honor.”

The veterans making the trip come from many east Texas communities, including Tyler, Longview, Athens, Lindale, Mineola, Chandler, Frankston, Whitehouse, Bullard, Flint, Hawkins, Lone Oak, Gladewater, Jefferson, Canton, Big Sandy, Wills Point, Pittsburg, Quitman, Terrell and Yantis. 

“It was the greatest thing I’ve ever heard of, let alone done,” Spencer said. “The whole thing was just absolutely fabulous.”

“The purpose of this trip was to honor these veterans and to sincerely say thank you,” said Rick Ellis, chief marketing officer for Brookshire’s. “Those of us that were fortunate enough to travel with these men are honored to be able to assist and serve them. They become like family. We live in a wonderful country with many freedoms that these men and many other men and women like them defended.”

Noting that the World War II Memorial was not built until 2004, Ellis stated that most of these veterans have never had a chance to see it. “We’re glad we were able to provide that opportunity for them.”

“There is an engraved quote at the World War II Memorial from President Harry S. Truman that perhaps sums up our feelings best, Ellis added. “President Truman said, ‘Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.’”

View more photos of the return of our Vets from their Washington, D.C. trip.

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Stini captures $50,000 prize in online contest

Brookshire’s Shop, Play & Save online contest has found its $50,000 winner, and it’s James Stini. The check was presented to Mr. Stini on Friday, May 7, at the Brookshire’s on Rice Road in Tyler by Store Director Billy Haskins and Chief Marketing Officer Rick Ellis.

To enter customers had to be at least 18 years old, reside in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas or Oklahoma. Customers entered a receipt code online for the chance to “spin” a prize wheel.

“Many customers are excited about these contests and other features we’ve added to our website at,” Ellis said. “Not only can we provide information about our company and current happenings, but we can also provide meal tips and health and nutrition facts, as well as ad offers and marketing promotions such as this contest. We congratulate Mr. Stini on playing and winning the Shop, Play & Save game.”

The contest began March 24. More than 2,000 prizes have been awarded.

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BGC Announces Executive Promotions

BGC has promoted executives within its financial group. Carolyn Hutson has been promoted to executive vice president-chief financial officer, John Franklin has been promoted to senior vice president-controller, and Nathan Williamson has been promoted to senior vice president-taxation.

Carolyn joined the company in 1996 as a financial accountant. She later served as financial accounting projects manager and director of financial services before being named vice president-treasurer in 2000. She will oversee all financial areas of the company.

In 1992 John started working as a warehouseman at BGC. He completed school and in 1996 began serving as an accountant and soon after became a CPA. He went on to serve as financial analysis manager, director of project management, director of financial accounting and vice president-controller.

A 38-year company veteran, Nathan has worked as an accountant, senior accountant, accounting project manager, corporate tax manager and director of corporate taxation. In 1998 he was promoted to vice president of corporate taxation.

“We have a tremendous financial team fully prepared to move BGC forward,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Rayford. “I am confident in these leaders’ abilities to successfully lead the financial areas of our business.”

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Brookshire’s on Fifth Street in Tyler Celebrates Grand Reopening

Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy on East Fifth Street in Tyler began its grand reopening May 5 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with officials such as state Sen. Kevin Eltife and Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith in attendance.

An extensive remodeling project began in August 2009, and work to the 37,000-square-foot store is complete.

Outside, the storefront received a facelift, and inside, new paint, floor and décor packages were added. The parking lot has been refurbished and provides new lighting.

“The whole store has a more open atmosphere and provides a fresh, new shopping experience,” said Store Director Jimmie Horton. “We also have a group of new employees ready to serve and knowledgeable about our products and services.”

There is a new full-service meat and fresh seafood counter in the market and sandwich and olive bar in the deli, along with new Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. The bakery has new cakerie cases and now carries Yums gourmet cupcakes. It also has a new decorating station. The produce department offers new varieties of organic items. The floral department carries fresh flowers and gift items.

The store pharmacy operates 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. It offers name brand and generic prescription drugs, as well as a wide range of non-prescription health care items, and accepts most insurance plans. The phone number is 903-526-4092.

The store now houses a Southside Bank branch.

A new electronic recipe kiosk gives meal suggestions and preparation tips. 

“All this, along with our staff that’s excited and ready to help shoppers with their meal planning, should make shopping here more enjoyable than ever,” Horton said. “We expect our customers to be treated and feel like family.”

From May 5-11, every 150th customer using a frequent shopper card, the Thank You Card, will be awarded a $50 store gift card at checkout. Up to 60 qualifying customers will win. There will also be drawings for $25 health and beauty care gift baskets in the pharmacy.

Hours of operations are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The store’s phone number is 903-593-7208.

Along with Horton, store management includes Jason Baird, Steven Jones and Ryan Rachell, all assistant store managers.

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Company Loses Chairman Emeritus

Bruce Glenn Brookshire, chairman emeritus, died Friday, April 16, 2010.

Affectionately known as the “Prune Peddler,” Brookshire was born Dec. 3, 1928, to the late W.T. and Louise Brookshire, the founders of today’s Brookshire Grocery Co.

1n 1950 Brookshire interrupted his education at the University of Texas in Austin to come home to Tyler to work alongside his father in the grocery business. There were 10 stores when he joined the family business. 

After his father’s death, Brookshire became the company’s Chairman of the Board. During his 30 years as Chairman, Brookshire’s vision and leadership saw the company grow to more than 150 stores in three states, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. 

Brookshire’s magnetic personality and infectious smile were well known to all employees, whom he referred to as “partners.” His slogans are well-known throughout the company and include, “We have a SMILE in store for you”, “Pay obsessive attention to each customer”, and “We don’t sell just food, we sell warm, friendly, courteous customer service.” 

Brookshire was an avid outdoorsman and also contributed to many charitable efforts. He received the Boy Scouts of America, East Texas Area Council’s first Distinguished Citizen Award in 1992. He was also honored by the United Way, the East Texas Peace Officers Association, Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, and many others.

Brookshire is survived by his wife, Carrie, son Tim and his wife, Michelle, son Britt and his wife, Sunni, and nine grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler on April 20, 2010.

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Brookshire’s 22nd Benefit Golf Tournament

TYLER, TEXAS – The 22nd annual Brookshire’s Benefit Golf Tournament netted $300,000 for children’s charities on Monday, April 26, 2010, with simultaneous tournaments held at Cascades, Hollytree Eagle’s Bluff, and Garden Valley golf clubs.

The event is one of the largest golf tournaments in east Texas with nearly 500 golfers representing more than 150 of BGC’s suppliers from across the U.S.

Since its inception the tournament has raised $2.5 million for children’s charities and programs such as Children’s Miracle Network, Children’s Advocacy Centers, CASA, Boys and Girls Clubs and numerous others.

The tournament check presentation was made by Brookshire’s President and CEO Rick Rayford to representatives of local children’s charities at a vendor dinner following the tournament.

“We greatly appreciate all the companies and individuals who participate in this fun event,” Rayford said. “Funds raised go to help children in east Texas and other areas where we operate Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods stores. We are fortunate to be able to continue this great tradition of supporting children’s nonprofits and programs in our communities.”

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Rubbed the right way!

Savory Chicken Rub
1/3 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup dry mustard
2 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs thyme

Seafood Rub
1/4 cup Old Bay or other seafood seasoning blend
2 Tbs flour
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp black pepper

Spicy Steak Rub
1/4 cup paprika
2 Tbs course salt
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs black pepper
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs dried coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground allspice

BGC Receives Green Grocer Award

Selected for its approach on sustainability practices and environmental responsibility, the trade magazine Progressive Grocer has recognized Brookshire Grocery Company as one of the new Green Grocer Award recipients for 2010.

BGC was acknowledged for its numerous efforts that are in effect company-wide, including increasing its recycling program and for decreasing its energy usage. “Two years ago, our company set as one of its strategic goals that we would work to protect the environment through responsible education and continuous improvement in our usage of energy and natural resources,” says Greg Nordyke, Brookshire’s SVP of corporate development and executive sponsor of the company’s sustainability program.

As an example of BGC’s efforts to providing a greener atmosphere for its partners and for its customers, Progressive Grocer highlighted the company’s decision to increase its recycling program, decrease energy usage at all of its retail stores, reduce the usage of water in its manufacturing plants and its acquisition of more fuel-efficient vehicles in the company’s fleet.

The company has even taken steps to reduce the number of plastic and paper bags it uses, by encouraging customers to use one of several eco-friendly designed reusable bags available in all stores. Every time a customer brings in a reusable bag when they shop, they receive .5 off per bag from their total shopping bill. To date, the company has paid out over $120,000 to customers for their bag re-use.

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Commerce Store receives Remodel

Since the first of March crews have been working on a renovation project at the Brookshire’s in Commerce, Texas.

“We’re excited about the remodel and look forward to many improvements,” said Store Director Rocky Dority. “We are pleased to offer customers a more fresh and modern shopping atmosphere.”

The storefront is being upgraded with new logo signage and redesigned in earth tones. The walkways at the store entrance are being modified with additional parking nearby. 

The floor tile is being removed and refurbished to produce a polished concrete finish. The store’s offices and restrooms are undergoing renovation, and new checkstands are being added. Workers are installing new décor throughout the interior.

The self-service fuel center is receiving new signage, including a nine-by-four-foot electronic messaging sign.

Work to the 34,000-square-foot store should be completed by June.

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