Family owned & operated
by Angela Rogalski
The Bolivar Bullet
Vowell’s Marketplace began operations in 1945 with the first store opened in Noxapater, Miss. E.L. Vowell was a WWII Navy vet who opened the store when he returned home from the war. Today, the store has 15 locations in Mississippi and Alabama and Vowell’s grandson, Todd, still runs the family business, along with his dad E.L Vowell, Jr.
“We are truly family owned and operated,” said Todd Vowell. “It’s been my dad and his brother David, and my dad is still very involved with the business. One of our main goals is great customer service and we have a full-service meat department. We sell butcher-cut meats and we’re very proud of that. We also have the ability to find a source for items we don’t carry that the customer may need. If you don’t see it on our shelves, we can try and find it for you. We have that local focus for our customers and do our best to stay cost-efficient.”
Vowell added that the support of the Cleveland community has been amazing since the opening of the store there in 2005.
“We really want to thank the people of Cleveland for accepting us into the community,” he said. “And we’re very grateful to our hardworking employees as well.”
Jason Pettis is the Cleveland store manager and said that Vowell’s strives to serve the Cleveland community with great products at cost-efficient prices.
“We’re not a corporate environment. We’re not like the big guys who can only pull from one warehouse; we actually pull from various suppliers, so I believe our in-stock conditions are good and we actually have the products customers need. We also serve hot food in our deli with breakfast and lunch and basically keep that open until 6:00 p.m. every day,” he added. “Our store hours are Monday – Sunday from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. We have weekly specials and are very proud of our full-service meat department. We grind meat fresh every day. We’re an old-school grocery; we’re really not into the corporate mentality. We believe that every customer deserves to be greeted when they walk in the door and customer service is our top priority.”
While Vowell’s may be old-school when it comes to serving the customer, they are keeping up with the times when it comes to technology.
“This year we’re planning on adding self-checkouts,” Pettis said. “For our customers who prefer to do it themselves. However, that doesn’t mean we’re sacrificing any of our full-service lanes; we’re not doing it as a cost-cutting benefit, we’re doing it as an additional service to our customers. We believe we have one of the fastest and friendliest frontends around.”