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About Edwards Food Giant
Oral Edwards started his career in the grocery business as an assistant manager in Millington, Tennessee in 1959. Mr. Edwards next moved to Kennett, Missouri in 1961 as a store manager. Finally, in 1962, he got the opportunity to be part owner in a new store. He loaded up his family for the third and final time and moved to Forrest City, Arkansas. A new Liberty Supermarket was opened there in 1962. By today's standards it was a small store but it was huge for that time. Forrest City became home for Oral and Christine Edwards and their children Steve and Susan.
Along with some partners a second store was opened by Edwards in Helena in 1964. This occurred just as the new Helena Bridge was being completed over the Mississippi River. Helena and Phillips County were experiencing a huge growth spurt and business was booming. The company was growing rapidly and opened a third store in Marianna in 1965. In 1975, Steve Edwards entered the business full-time after graduating from Arkansas State University. Steve and his wife, Laura, currently live in Marianna and have three children. Today the company operates supermarkets in Forrest City, Harrisburg, Marianna and four locations in Little Rock. We also operate convenience stores in McCrory and Augusta.
GES, Inc., an Arkansas Corporation, was formed in 1968 to consolidate a group of supermarkets. The corporation now owns eight supermarkets since moving into the Little Rock market in 2009. Oral and Steve Edwards, who have a total of over 80 years of grocery experience between them, own GES, Inc. Along with Vice President of Operations, Gary Proffitt, the Edwards family also owns a company called Tobacco Warehouse, LLC which operates convenience stores.
Our supermarkets and convenience stores are all in Arkansas and operate under the Edwards Food Giant and FG Express banners. We continue to improve our stores and add new departments in order to protect our markets and better serve our customers. Our main supplier is Associated Wholesale Grocers. We have survived the influx of Wal-Mart Supercenters and sales are growing. Our new location in the Heights in Little Rock brings even more diversity to the company. This upscale store has Service Meat and Seafood Departments and brings personalized service to our customers.
GES, Inc. has an excellent management team. All store managers have been with the company for several years and have built good reputations in the communities in which they operate. Each of them leads their own team of department managers to run a profitable and efficient store. Vice President of Operations, Gary Proffitt, supervises the overall operations of each store. Gary gained extensive management experience while working for the Megamarket and Food 4 Less chains and later as a Retail Counselor for Fleming Foods. Bob Childers, from Harrisburg, is Director of Meat Operations. Bob has been with the company for over thirty years. He maintains retail meat pricing, handles meat advertising, and travels to each store to oversee meat operations.
In order to perpetuate the family business, Paul Rowton, son-in-law of Steve Edwards, moved into a corporate management role in 2009. He had been a store manager for several years and before that gained experience as a regional supervisor with the Hershey Foods Company where he supervised eight area sales representatives and personally called on major supermarket and warehouse accounts. He has brought a new level of expertise to the company, having seen the inner workings of several wholesale and retail grocery companies. Paul is a graduate of Arkansas State University as well.
The Harrisburg store is called a Family Center. It contains a pharmacy, sit down restaurant and a full service bank. Approximately one third of this store is a True Value Hardware and sporting goods section. The store sells all types of hunting and fishing equipment and is one of the largest firearms dealers in the state.
Edwards Food Giant strives to be a good corporate community citizen and is involved in many activities such as sports, charities, and area development. The owners of the business serve on boards and committees at both the local and state level. They believe that in order for their business to grow and prosper the communities in which they operate must also grow and prosper. The Edwards family is thankful for all their team members. Without these folks none of the company's successes would have been possible.