The Grocers Supply Co., Inc. operates today on the principles and philosophy of
its founder, Mr. Joe Levit. He recognized and satisfied the
needs of the independent grocer and established a tradition of integrity,
compassion, service, and friendship. Our employees are dedicated to maintaining
these standards and we are proud to have shared in the success of our retail friends.
<p>Joe Levit was 16 years old when he arrived in this country from Russia
in 1914. With only seven dollars in his pocket, he went to school, worked part-time
at the Magnolia Paper company and eventually became a stenographer. In 1917, he
bought a grocery store in Houston at the corner of Winter and Colorado.
He later sold this store and bought a second store on Harrisburg. Joe Levit soon
realized that no one was doing a good job servicing the independent grocer and decided
to get into the wholesale business. He left the grocery store in the capable hands
of his wife, Dora, and in 1923, leased a three story 7,500 square foot building
on the old Produce Row. At that time, there were eleven wholesale grocery companies
competing for sales to the small independent corner grocery stores.
In 1928, the company's 10 trucks and 42 employees moved to a larger warehouse on
Commerce Street, downtown by the bayou. After the flood in 1936, the company relocated
to a three story facility at Commerce and Jackson. The business continued to grow
and the company moved across the street into a new modern facility on north Jackson.
In 1956, The Grocers Supply Co., Inc. opened its present location on Holcombe Boulevard.
This facility has been expanded several times and now covers more than 747,752 square
feet. In 1983, a new 105,000 square foot cooler/freezer was built across the street
from the Holcombe warehouse, and this building has also been enlarged to a total
of 211,661 square feet. The company operates 4 satellite warehouses in Houston.
Today, The Grocers Supply Co., Inc. services more than 650 grocery stores, 1,200
convenience stores and 200 schools in a 350 mile radius of Houston. Our fleet consists
of over 200 tractors, over 700 trailers and more than 2,000 employees.
Joe Levit based his business on helping his customers operate at a profit and in
treating all of his employees in a respectful and appreciative way. Some people
called him Papa Joe, others called him Mr. Joe , but we all thank
him for dedicating his life to The Grocers Supply Co., Inc. and for setting the
standard of "excellence in serving the independent grocer".