Lowes Foods Company History

Lowes Foods began in 1954 as a single store in North Wilkesboro, NC, and has grown to become a major supermarket chain operating in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The company grew rapidly during the 1960s, '70s and early '80s. Lowes Foods was acquired by Merchants Distributors, Inc. (MDI) in 1984 and began an aggressive expansion program in 1986, opening 19 stores over the next four years. In 1997, Lowes Foods acquired Byrds Food Stores, located in eastern North Carolina. It continued its growth in 2000 with the purchase of 13 Hannaford stores. Today Lowes Foods operates more than 100 stores and continues to open new stores throughout North and South Carolina.

Lowes Foods has always had a strong customer orientation. Our stores reflect the varied needs and desires of shoppers in different areas. Stores, products and services are continually updated to meet the changing needs of customers. In the 1990s, Lowes Foods introduced FreshSmart stores, with an emphasis on customer service and fresh produce, meat, seafood, deli and bakery items. While selection may vary from store to store, our commitment to quality, value and service are the same no matter where you shop.

Lowes Foods is part of the Alex Lee family of companies. Alex Lee was formed in 1992 after MDI purchased Institution Food House (IFH), creating an integrated food distribution company. Alex Lee was named in honor of its founders, Alex and Lee George. Alex and Lee were generous people who cared about both friends and strangers. Alex George, the entrepreneur, knew everyone's name and directed the warehouse operations. Lee George, the negotiator, was adept at procurement and sales, but was best known for his kindness. Their integrity, honesty, fairness and loyalty earned them wide trust and great respect among both customers and employees. Alex and Lee believed in customer service and guided the company through good and bad times by focusing on how they could best serve the customer.

The tradition begun by Alex and Lee George continues today at Lowes Foods and its sister companies, MDI and IFH. Each of the Alex Lee companies has grown tremendously over the years by remaining committed to doing what's right for the customer. Today's team of employees at Lowes Foods takes great pride in creating services that make life easier for our customers and distinguish us from our competitors.

Boy with Heirloom Tomatoes