Western Supermarkets is Birmingham's largest locally-owned grocery store chain. Currently, Western Supermarkets, Inc. operates stores under the Western Supermarket, FoodSmart by Western, Food Depot, and The Village Market brands. The corporate headquarters is located at 2614 19th Street South in Homewood.
Western Supermarket was founded in 1948 by Inos Allen Heard and Stewart Yerton with the opening of a store in Five Points West. In 1987, Ken Hubbard and Ed Goodwin bought the company from Heard. Hubbard is currently the sole owner and CEO of the company. Darwin Metcalf, previously manager of the Mountain Brook Village store, is president and chief operating officer.
In 1998, Western was the number three grocery chain in Birmingham.
In 2001, in an effort to compete against the many larger grocery chains, Western began tailoring each location to its area. This began with the renaming of the Festival Center location in Eastwood to FoodSmart by Western. The store's floral, seafood and deli departments were removed while a "Dollar Smart" section featuring items priced at $1 or less was added. Other examples of this local tailoring are the Mountain Brook store's extensive wine shop and the Highland Avenue location's large, "New York style" deli. Despite these adaptations, Publix surpassed Western as the number five grocery chain in Birmingham in 2003.
In 2016, the Mountain Brook Village store moved to a new location in the Lane Parke development. The original store, opened in 1959, closed at the end of the day on October 8 and the ribbon cutting for the new store took place on October 13. The new store, at 28,300 square feet, is about 5,000 square feet larger than the old one. The Lane Parke store will offer an expanded deli and meat section, a mezzanine with a dining area, fresh-baked cookies, Heavenly Donuts, a growler station with 12 taps, and a small conference room available for community meetings.
- Western Supermarket
- Food Depot
- FoodSmart by Western
- The Village Market
- Bluff Park (770 Shades Mountain Plaza, 1967–2001)
- Cahaba Heights (3150 Green Valley Road, closed 2005)
- Center Point (1916 Center Point Parkway, closed 1980s)
- Leeds (116 South 26th Street), opened January 23, 1963.
- Crestwood Shopping Center (5610 Crestwood Boulevard, opened 1957 as 4th location)
- Five Points West
- Hoover (1887 Hoover Court, closed 2003)
- Pelham (3592 U.S. Highway 31 South; opened as a Western in the 1960's, closed in February 2017)
- Vestavia Hills (2512 Rocky Ridge Road, moved to 3350 Morgan Drive)
- Trussville (220 Main Street)
- Trussville (5960 Chalkville Mountain Road, closed 2005)
- Vestavia Hills Shopping Center (652 Montgomery Highway)
- Mountain Brook Shopping Center (2717 Culver Road, 1959–2016), relocated
- "At Age 50, Western Savors Role of Home-Owned Supermarket" (July 28, 1998) The Birmingham News
- Mahoney, Ryan (October 31, 2003) "Western Supermarkets carves niche market." Birmingham Business Journal
- "About Western Supermarkets." Western Supermarkets - accessed December 11, 2006
- Mahoney, Ryan (December 5, 2003) "Publix passes Western in local grocery wars." Birmingham Business Journal
- "Neighborhood Loses Only Grocery" (July 13, 2001) The Birmingham News
- Williams, Roy L. (August 20, 2008) "Western Supermarkets hits 60-year milestone." The Birmingham News
- Hubbard, Russell (May 31, 2009) "Birmingham Western Supermarkets CEO Ken Hubbard says local flavor still works as larger rivals knock each other off." The Birmingham News
- Smith, Adam (June 17, 2009) "Store has new name, new look." North Jefferson News
- Poe, Kelly (October 7, 2016) "Mountain Brook Western Market announces grand opening." The Birmingham News
- Steere, Tim (January 19, 2017) "Suburban grocery store to close" Birmingham Business Journal