Associated Grocers of the South

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Associated Grocers of the South (formerly Associated Grocers of Alabama) is a retailers' cooperative serving more than 200 independent grocery stores in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. Its offices are located at 3600 Vanderbilt Road.

The organization was founded in Birmingham in 1927 by 13 local grocers led by Larry Grimes. The cooperative maintains a public warehouses which has grown from 2,500 square feet on Finley Avenue to over 455,000 square feet at their present location in Tarrant.

Longtime president Dave Mobley retired in 1968 and was succeeded by George Little. He expanded the co-op by acquiring Associated Grocers of Chattanooga, and also diversified the association by founding Key Insurance Agency, Images Inc. advertising and print shop, the Bama Brokerage Company, and a construction firm. He also bought a half share of WAQY-AM amid other investments. The financial impact of those investments strained the co-op's relationship with Central Bank and alarmed the board of directors. 34-year-old Les Nuby, Jr was promoted to take his place as president in 1972. He divested Associated Grocers of most of its outside investments before resigning in late 1973 to become president of Pasquale Food Company.

Associated Grocers distributes its own products under the Shurfine brand. It also provides business services such as merchandising, advertising, accounting, development services, logistics, and invoicing. The cooperative is a member of Topco Associates LLC.


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