Jay C Food Stores have been serving southern Indiana for many years. In that time, the stores have seen many changes. However, the company’s dedication to serving Seymour and the surrounding community remains unwavered by the winds of time — and the pains of recession. Jay C’s story is one of adaptation, evolution, and ultimately success. Here are some key points of progress, as told by the company:
- It all began in 1863. John C. Groub, a young Swiss immigrant, made his way to Seymour, Indiana. He sold matches to pay his way from Louisville, Kentucky to Rockford, Indiana.
- In 1863, John C. Groub opened his first store in a building on South Chestnut Street. The front portion was a grocery store; the back was used for living quarters.
- The business grew and Mr. Groub secured a downtown location on West Second Street in 1871.
- Deliveries by truck started about 1919, and satellite warehouses were established in Mitchell and Connersville.
- As the number of stores increased, so did the need for more warehouse space, and in 1938 a new two-story warehouse, one-half block in size, was built at the south end of Ewing Street.
- In the late 1950s, the Jay C leadership made a commitment to teamwork when it made the promise, “As the Company Progresses, So Shall Its People.” At the same time, a cash profit sharing plan was inaugurated. As a result of this team effort, profit sharing has been paid every year since its inception.
- A new name, and a new kind of store operation became a part of the company during the 1980s-90s. Four Foods Plus Stores were opened in Bedford, Madison, Columbus, and Seymour. The concept of these stores involved giving customers a role in creating savings for themselves by bagging their own groceries and taking them to the car.
- By the end of the 1990s, Jay C consisted of 25 Jay C Stores, 4 Foods Plus Stores, and 2 Ruler Discount Foods Stores.
- In August,1999 the John C. Groub Company merged with the Kroger Company, the largest grocery retailer in the United States.
- The company has prospered as an independent division of the Kroger Company, retaining its name, people, traditions, values, leadership, and products.
Congrats to Jay C, an Indiana Chamber member, for so many years of success — and thanks for showing other Indiana businesses what can be accomplished with determination and forward thinking.