By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal
HOUSTON – Kirkham Dendy’s philosophy on running a grocery store is as simple and straightforward as how to package a product.
“Don’t put anything in there you wouldn’t want your mama to have,” said Dendy, the store’s owner.
The butchers in the meat market of Grocer’s Pride Supermarket took that motto and their training to a new level, receiving the “Excellence in Meat Merchandising” award from Associated Wholesale Grocery’s Memphis division.
The longtime Houston store took top honors in a seven-state region.
“I’m really proud of them,” Dendy said of his butcher and market employees. “This is a big achievement.”
Dendy was practically raised in the grocery business, and opened Grocer’s Pride Supermarket April 1, 1988. Much of his experience was gained in the meat market, which makes the recent award just a little more special.
“I started working when I was 13 years old for Mr. Byrl Miller at Piggly Wiggly,” Dendy said. “I loved that man. He taught me so much.”
Now managing more than 100 employees at Grocer’s Pride, Dendy continues to emphasize the importance of a strong work ethic, top quality of products and superior service – especially in the meat department – he learned at an early age.
The 18-man meat market team was recognized for its dedication to providing fresh meats and hand-packed chicken, as well as display, rotation and cleanliness.
The store has fresh chicken delivered daily, and it maintains a reputation for offering fresh, quality meats.
“If it’s not what I want, I’ll send it back in a heartbeat,” Dendy said. “I’d rather be out and have nothing on the shelf than something that’s not fresh and what my customers want.”
That attention to detail also has propelled the store into the top 10 of single-store operators in the nation for certified Angus beef sales.
Dendy is determined to continue providing quality products with exemplary customer service to his shoppers who come from all over the area.
“We have people who come from Lee County and Itawamba County to shop here,” Dendy said. “We also have two ladies who come every couple of weeks from Louisville to do their shopping.”