Shelton’s Hometown Grocery
Shelton’s Hometown Grocery
Second in a series of stories about local Waurika businesses. Shop local and invest your tax dollars where we live, work and play.
When Stan and Cherryl Good purchased Shelton’s Grocery Store in 1999, they bought more than a grocery store. They purchased a big part of Waurika’s history. According to a local historian, at one time Waurika had ten grocery stores. By 1999, it was down to just one store. Many of the original stores had closed when the owner’s retired. Stan knew that Shelton’s had a long history, great name recognition and was a well-run store.
Jerry Shelton and his wife, Thyrzia, had purchased Park Grocery in Waurika in 1966 and renamed it Shelton’s Grocery. Stan’s father, Glen, was the butcher at Park Grocery for many years and Jerry and Thyrzia were long-time family friends. “I didn’t change the name because I had a great deal of respect for Jerry Shelton,” Stan said. “If I had changed the name people still would have called it Shelton’s Grocery. Jerry Shelton thanked me many times for keeping that name.”
Stan and Cherryl have owned the store for 20 years this year. They also own Walters Hometown Grocery. Their daughter, Jena, who was only eight years old when they purchased the Waurika store, helps manage both locations. “While my future plans include retirement, as long as my family is involved, we want to continue running the stores,” Stan stated.
Stan grew up around the grocery business and was fortunate to have two excellent mentors. First was his father who worked at Park Grocery for years before moving to Fort Worth as a butcher and later moved into store management for Buddy’s #1 Super Market before it sold to Winn-Dixie. In 1968 Glen moved the family to Ryan and opened Good’s Superette. He also managed Warehouse Foods in Temple from 1972 to 1995. Stan was in his early teens when they moved to Ryan. He began working for his second mentor, Jerry Shelton, sacking groceries when he was 15. After graduation he took a break from the grocery business for a few years and worked for Goodyear in Lawton before purchasing Shelton’s.
Cherryl’s father was stationed in Germany when she was born. When she was ten years old her family moved to Lawton. Her father retired from the army five years later and went to work for Goodyear. Cherryl is still fluent in German. Before she and Stan purchased the Walters grocery store, she was in Waurika just about every day. Now she is more involved in managing the Walters store.
The grocery business is changing and the Goods want to keep the best of both the old and new. “We still have a butcher which many stores, even those that are our size, do not have. That means that that you can still order steaks that are 1 ½ inches thick – even if they aren’t in our meat case,” Stan stated, “We still grind our ground beef from the trimmings. That’s just makes better quality ground beef and it doesn’t have all the fillings that you get from the larger chain stores. Quality of the food is very important. We do our very best to provide the highest quality and still keep our prices as low as possible.”
They recently changed suppliers and now buy through the Associated Wholesale Grocers. “One of the biggest changes for store owners is that there are no true wholesalers anymore for the smaller store owners. We now purchase through co-ops that are owned by all the members of the co-op. It’s happened in many industries and it helps provide the buying power that smaller stores need to compete,” according to Jena Good.
Buying habits have changed, too. Jena commented. “Traditionally for Thanksgiving we would have stacks and stacks of canned goods for stuffing or casseroles, but today we sell as many ingredients to make spaghetti or lasagna as we do turkey and all the trimmings.” “Growing up I remember the stacks and stacks of canned goods as we prepared for the Thanksgiving rush. My Mom would always tell me to be careful in the aisles so I didn’t knock down a whole display.”
The younger generations are moving more toward snack foods and less toward cooking full meals and they have tried to accommodate. Jena commented. “Our younger customers want convenience so we stock more snack items and ready to eat foods.” Stan added, “We sell a great deal more frozen foods that we did 10 years ago.”
What might the future hold? “Mobile orders and mobile pickups are future offerings for smaller stores like ours. We want to be as convenient for our shoppers as possible.” Stan added, “We pride ourselves on our customer service. We don’t ask you to load your groceries onto the checkout counter. We check out your groceries. We bag your groceries. And we carry out your groceries. We think this level of customer service is very important and so do our employees. We appreciate every one of our customers and we appreciate each of our employees.”
Stan and Cherryl have three grandchildren. Their son, Teddy, and his wife, Brooke, have Corbin who is 14 and Ian who is 13 and Jena has a son, Drew, who is 7. “I love bringing Drew to the stores with me. He enjoys talking to the customers and I really enjoy the fact that he is getting the same friendly treatment that I did when I would come to the store with my parents.” Jena added. “Our customers are genuinely interested in what he’s doing and how his school year is going. I came home after college to work in the stores because I love this business. When I see how happy Drew is in the stores, I know I made the right decision.“
Stan and Cherryl Good are not only excellent store owners, they have also become mentors who are bringing up two new generations of store owners. It seems the future of Shelton’s grocery stores is in excellent hands.
Notes: This story is part of series on Waurika businesses sponsored by the Waurika Chamber of Commerce and its Shop Local Waurika Program. We will add stories periodically and we hope you enjoy them. To read more stories like it go to www.waurikachamber.com/shop-local-stories and find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WaurikaChamber/.