Larry Reasor began the Reasor’s legacy when he bought his first store in Tahlequah, Okla., on June 3, 1963 with two simple yet effective ideas in mind: put customers first and sell customers the items they want to buy.
Fifty years later, Reasor’s namesake store has 17 full-service locations with amenities such as bakeries, delis, floral, pharmacy and more, as well as, two convenience stores/gas stations in the northeast Oklahoma market.
The company continues to thrive on the value proposition based on Reasor’s initial vision: “Experience the difference through quality, variety, freshness, innovation and service all at the right price.”
It has been said that Larry Reasor’s good-hearted demeanor and the pride he had in his hometown played a role in propelling Reasor’s from the modest grocery store in Tahlequah to a regional chain across northeast Oklahoma. When the store first opened, Larry took to the airways and filmed commercials that caught shoppers’ attention, making him a local celebrity. He was well known for his themed commercial antics, some of which are still talked about in the Tahlequah area today.
“We strive to carry on the ideals set forth by my father in that small grocery store in Tahlequah all those years ago—a focus on you, the customer, with the products you want, in the type of place you don’t mind shopping,” says Jeff Reasor, Larry’s son and chairman and CEO of the now employee-owned company.
In the very early days, Reasor’s Red Bud Foods was a pillar in the community that employed around 25 students and community members. That number has now exploded to around 3,000 employees in various areas surrounding northeast Oklahoma, making it the largest employee-owned company in the area.
Reasor’s is continually making improvements and introducing new programs to benefit their customers. The most recent introduction of the Reasor’s Rewards program, as well as the NuVal Nutrition ranking system continue to boost Reasor’s ability to give the customers what they want by rewarding them for their loyalty and helping them easily choose healthier options for their family.
Along with these new programs, the company’s products and offerings include an expanding selection of private label products and ready-made meals. In addition, two of the stores now offer restaurants.
Reasor’s also offers bakery services with great breads baked fresh daily, deli with hot and cold foods, a meat counter with customer service, a floral department with many colorful varieties of flowers and a well-staffed pharmacy. The Reasor’s produce department offers a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stores present a clean, open and inviting environment.
“People 50 years ago would be amazed at how large stores have become,” Reasor said. “Customers have given us the great ideas to create the type of stores they want. The restaurants enhance the shopping experience and are a competitive advantage for us, as it is something our competitors don’t have.”
Throughout the 50 years of changes and improvements, there is one thing that has always remained the same at Reasor’s—holding true to the initial goal of Larry Reasor the day he bought the first store, the company’s mission statement, “Depend on us to be the best place to work and shop.”
To commemorate 50 years of excellence, beginning May 1, Reasor’s will kick off a chain of events that will continue throughout the summer including a Sea-Doo giveaway (with Bud Light), a “Golden” Facebook Coupon, $200 QuikTrip gas card sweepstakes, a $50 gift card hiding in 200 copies of its 50th anniversary special section in Tulsa World, a drawing for a Harley Davidson motorcycle (with Budweiser) and, the company says, “a gift of a lifetime.” Reasor’s and Clear Channel will give one customer a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a trip to the Golden Nugget Resort in Las Vegas, to go “diggin’ for gold” in Alaska or a $1,000 American Express Gold Card.
On June 1, Reasor’s invites the community to enjoy free birthday cake and games.