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Fourth-Generation Ala. Grocer Jackson Mitchell Buys Five Ga. Stores

Jackson Mitchell, Little Giant buy
Jackson Mitchell

Jackson Mitchell is a fourth-generation member of his family’s business, Mitchell Grocery Corp. in Albertville, Alabama.

On June 12, Jackson Mitchell Holdings Inc.—of which Jackson Mitchell is founder and CEO—closed on a deal to purchase Little Giant Farmers Market Corp., which operates five Georgia grocery stores. These include the original Riverdale location; the flagship store in Jonesboro; two stores in Newnan; and one in Decatur.

Mickey Dixon, who started Little Giant three-plus decades ago with a small produce store, is stepping away from the business.

Jackson Mitchell, Little Giant buy
Mickey Dixon and Jackson Mitchell

“I’m very pleased with Jackson taking over this operation. Little Giant has been my family away from family for the last 35 years, and I feel very confident about these great people going forward with our vision,” Dixon said. “I feel that they have the same morals and standards that align with our company values, and that is very important to me. The fact that they are honoring all employees by allowing them to continue to work here makes me feel good, and I am confident that I am leaving our loyal customers and employees in great hands.”

All 175 current employees of the chain have been given the opportunity to continue to work under the new parent company.

The original Little Giant Farmer’s Market location in Riverdale opened in 1984 and initially was focused on selling farm-fresh produce with some bakery and dairy offerings.

In 2002, it became a full-service supermarket chain, expanding the offerings at the original Riverdale location and adding a flagship store in Jonesboro.

The Decatur store was opened in 2009, and summer 2012 brought the addition of two new sites in Newnan.

Little Giant Farmer’s Market will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Jackson Mitchell Holdings, continuing to operate under the current corporate structure.

 

Jackson Mitchell planning growth, new format called FreshTake

Jackson Mitchell had served as director of store development for his family’s company, Mitchell Grocery Corp., for the past five years. During that time, his interest in retail grew.

Currently an Atlanta resident, and while working on developing FreshTake, his own chain of stores, he saw the potential to continue and grow the Dixon’s vision for Little Giant Farmer’s Market.

“It’s a unique opportunity to be a part of a great family-owned business that’s stable, established and has great people,” says Mitchell.

Mitchell Grocery Corp. will serve as all five stores’ primary wholesaler, and the transition already has begun, according to Jackson Mitchell Holdings.

Mitchell plans to enhance each location and continue to improve the customer experience. Variety will be expanded across the stores, adding fresh seafood, bulk foods and more grab-and-go options. Mitchell also plans to add a deli and bakery to all locations and expand the deli and bakery offerings in the Newnan locations.

Mitchell says he intends for Little Giant Farmer’s Market stores to continue to be an integral part of the communities they serve. Hosting community events, cookouts, truckload sales, and other exciting activities for customers is how he plans to connect with the public.

Mitchell also plans to expand Little Giant Farmer’s Market across the metro Atlanta area, while bringing FreshTake, Mitchell’s newly imagined grocery store concept, to the area as well.

“I look forward to serving the Metro Atlanta area and the Riverdale, Jonesboro, Decatur, Newnan and Sargent communities by offering value, fresh products, convenience, and fresh thinking to enhance the customer shopping experience,” Mitchell says.

About the author

Lorrie Griffith

An observer of the grocery industry since 1988. Away from her editor job, she's a wife and mother of two grown sons and thinks cooking is (usually) relaxing.

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