The Brookshire Grocery Company was founded in 1939 by Wood T. Brookshire after his involvement in a number of family-owned stores, including Brookshire Brothers. For his interest in the Brookshire Brothers partnership he took three Tyler stores and renamed them Brookshire's Food Stores. He soon added a store in Longview. His self-service and air-conditioning were firsts for the area. He established a profit-sharing program for the store managers. The business continued to expand through the 1950s and increased nonfood lines, offered free parking and check cashing, added more frozen foods, increased the self-service meat department, and provided more fresh produce. Two sons, Bruce G. and Shirley (Woody), joined the family business and in 1969 assumed control of the enterprise; Wood Brookshire was chairman of the board.
By 1991 Brookshire Grocery Company operated seventy-eight conventional supermarkets under the trade name Brookshire's Food Stores, eleven warehouse-style stores under the trade name Super 1 Foods, and 1 "superstore" under the trade name Brookshire's Supercenter. Among the specialty departments in the stores were bakeries, delicatessens, floral departments, in-store film-processing centers, pharmacies, and video rentals. The firm employed more than 7,500 personnel that year. The corporate offices and wholesale distribution center were in Tyler. The company had 275 vehicles in its fleet and handled 10,734 items regularly in its warehouses. Two bakeries, one in Tyler and one in Shreveport, Louisiana, supplied the stores.
In 1977 The Brookshires established the World of Wildlife and Country Store Museum in the corporate complex. The museum featured educational dioramas and artifacts for children. A rose garden at the corporate headquarters on Loop 323 in Tyler is maintained as a memorial to Wood T. Brookshire.
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Dallas Morning News, January 1, 1965, November 16, 1990. Archie P. McDonald, Notable East Texans (Austin: Eakin Press, 1986). "Top of the Market," Texas Monthly, April 1988. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Anne B. Hinton,
“Brookshire Grocery Company,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 24, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
November 1, 1994