Merchants Grocery Company (MGC) was founded on February 23, 1917. In 1927, the first truck was purchased for deliveries as most freight was sent by railroad to a train depot and the stores had to arrange their own transportation to pick up groceries. Back in those days, every town had at least one to two distributors. Culpeper had another distributor called Culpeper Grocery Company. In Orange, Virginia, there were also two distributors, but they consolidated and operated under the name of Peoples Grocery Company. Finally, in 1958, Merchants Grocery Company bought the stock of Peoples Grocery Company and operated under the name of Merchants-Peoples Grocery Company.
One of the first financial threats to the company was regarding future purchases of sugar due to the rationing situations during World War I. The difficulty arose when the price of sugar dropped abruptly below the purchase price because the price was already paid. Finally, Franklin Sugar Company compromised and reached an agreement with Merchants Grocery Company for $1,500. Because of this struggle, the Culpeper Grocery Company went out of business.
In 1933, the first profit loss was recorded at MGC for $100. Even though MGC had a fiscal loss, a dividend was paid to the stockholders and this trend has continued every year since.
In July of 1982, MGC consolidated with Peoples Grocery from Orange and moved into the new warehouse.. Even though we were experiencing all of the trials of moving into a new location, our commitment to our customers never changed. In fact, we didn’t miss a single day of shipping product to all of our locations. Throughout this process, we invested heavily into our technology that would make our warehouse more efficient and our customer experience effortless.
Our current property has a warehouse of over 150,000 square feet of product which includes a 30,000 square foot freezer. We are large enough to supply all your business needs, but small enough to always be here for you!
In our 104 year history, MGC has always been committed to being the Company You Can Count On.