Tuesday, December 13, 2016

TOP STORY >> Knight’s closing stores

Keith Knight, one of the owners of Knight’s Super Foods in Cabot and Beebe, announced his retirement Monday and said the stores will close after Christmas.

Knight’s is having a huge retirement sale with up to 50 percent off and will close after Christmas, having served the area for 45 years. All fresh meat, deli, produce, bakery, dairy, frozen food, health and beauty aids, tobacco (not cigarettes) are 25 percent off.

The same discounts apply in the floral department, greeting cards, gift bags, paper and balloons.

In a statement, the company announced, “Knight’s will close its doors for the final time at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27.”

Knight’s grew with the communities it served going back to the 1970s, when the area, especially Cabot, was the fastest growing in the state.

“As loyal customers, employees, business associates, friends and suppliers, you gave us the opportunity to serve you in Cabot and Beebe as Knight’s Super Food Stores for the past 45-plus years,” the statement continued.

“For over three generations, since we first opened in Cabot in 1971, you have been a part of our family and business,” Knight’s said.

“Knight’s has been honored to support the Cabot, Beebe, Ward and Lonoke communities throughout the years, and we appreciate so very much the support of all our many loyal customers,” the statement said.

“We thank you again for the life, memories and the opportunity to serve you.”

Early this year, the Knights sold their Jacksonville store at 315 S. James St. in Jackson Square to the Edwards family, who reopened it as an Edwards Cash Saver in April.

Knight’s was named Cabot Chamber of Commerce business of the year and provided hundreds of jobs, especially to young people working their way through high school.

Keith Knight, his brother Kent and their mother Sandra have been operating the stores, along with several other family members. Sandra and her husband, Warren, founded the company in Cabot in 1971. Warren passed away in 2005 at the age of 71.

The Knights founded the chain of supermarkets with a small store on Locust Street in downtown Cabot 45 years ago, when the city’s population was about a tenth of what it is today.

Warren and Sandra were married for 53 years. The Knights married in 1952 and were determined to make a success of themselves despite their modest circumstances.

They raised a family in Memphis, where Warren worked for the A&P supermarket chain. They eventually moved to Pine Bluff, where Warren worked for Weingarten’s, a Houston-based grocery chain with several stores in Arkansas.

Warren became Weingarten’s Arkansas manager and moved to North Little Rock, where their sons Kent, Keith and Kevin went to school. Warren left Weingarten’s in 1971, taking his family to Cabot, where they bought Thompson’s Dollar Saver, turning it into a success almost immediately with $10,000 in sales the first week.

Knight’s opened new supermarkets in quick succession in Cabot (two), Beebe and Jacksonville.

When a customer complained about steaks she had bought at Knight’s for a party, Warren took some steaks over to her home and cooked dinner for everybody, cutting up a watermelon for everyone while they waited for dinner.