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Treppendahl’s Super Foods Grateful For AGBR

exterior of Treppendahl's Super Foods

Last updated on August 17th, 2023 at 10:37 am

Wettlin Treppendahl Jr., owner of Treppendahl’s Super Foods in Woodville, Mississippi, has been a member of Associated Grocers Inc. of Baton Rouge (AGBR) since 1988. And he is quick to credit the wholesaler for helping him keep up with industry technology. 

He described the company as “the next best thing since sliced bread,” adding that is “so accommodating.”

Wettlin Treppendahl, owner of Treppendahl's Super Foods
Wettlin Treppendahl

“I get groceries three times a week and they’re never late, even during storms they do everything they can,” he said. 

Treppendahl considers AGBR as family, along with his employees. “It’s a co-op, so it’s actually my warehouse. And I feel I have a voice at my warehouse…they trust me and I trust them.”

Treppendahl’s will be celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2024. The company was founded by Carl Marius Treppendahl, who came to the U.S. in 1903 from Denmark. 

The 24-year-old arrived in the country wearing a shipping tag pinned to his coat that read “Send me to Woodville, Mississippi. I do not read or speak English.”

Promised a job as a bookkeeper, he found upon his arrival in Woodville that his prospective employer had lost his business. The young man stayed in the town and opened a mercantile, buying and selling everything from hardware and dry goods to lumber and fertilizer, according to the company website. In 1924, he added a grocery store to his enterprises.

Carl’s son Adolph took over the business and then passed it on to his son and current owner, Wettlin Treppendahl Jr.

The grocery store moved to its current location in the small town of Woodville in 1976.

Wettlin Treppendahl said his first job at the store was counting and grading yard eggs when he was 8. 

“Everybody had chickens and they had too many eggs, so they’d bring them and we’d sell them.”

As he grew older, he became a bagger, a checker and worked in the meat market. In the 1960s and ’70s, the store offered a delivery service, where customers would call in their orders and a truck made the rounds twice a day.

After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1971, Treppendahl came back to the store, which at that time was 4,500 square feet. In 1976, they built the current location, which is about 19,000 square feet.

Treppendahl’s Super Foods is the sole grocer in Woodville, a town of one square mile, and also in Wilkinson County.

At  age 74, Treppendahl said he is “very happy” operating just the one store. His biggest current problem is finding qualified help. “Especially in a rural area like this, it’s just very difficult.”

Treppendahl said he loves being an independent grocer. He starts his day at the store at 4:30 every morning except Sunday, when he comes in at 5:45.

“That’s kind of my routine. And so far, it’s been working for me. I love what I do. I love the people. I love to interact with them. The employees are my family. I see them more than I do my own wife of 50 years.”

Treppendahl goes to the high school each year and talks to students, many of whom come to work for him. Several keep in touch, updating him on their lives and careers. “It just tickles me to death to see people do good,” he said.

He tries to instill a solid work ethic with the young people who often have their first job at the store. “There used to be an old commercial that said put your name on your job. I tell them all the time, finish it, do your job, where you put your name on it, you’re proud of it. 

“It doesn’t have to be much. It can be pick up that piece of paper and pick up the piece of paper beside it. But just do your job. And I love it.”

Treppendahl said he recently saw a former employee who now lives in Seattle and works with Reynolds Aluminum. “They said, I learned how to work from you, and I thank you.”

Treppendahl’s Super Foods has had some recent upgrades, including a new generator, a complete interior décor change and updated signage outside. It also has installed rooftop solar panels.

The panels are waiting for one part to come in before becoming operational, Treppendahl said. With government incentives, he hopes the system pays for itself within five years. 

About the author

Treva Bennett

Senior Content Creator

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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