BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE
(Source of image: Florida State Archives)
Pictured are the four Davis brothers, former heads of a Jax-based jumbo, the Winn-Dixie Supermarket chain. They are James E. (J. E.) Davis, M. Austin Davis, Tine W Davis., and Artemus Darius (A. D.) Davis. The image may date from the mid 1960s, judging by a photo note provided by the Florida State Archives.
"THE BEEF PEOPLE" -- Winn-Dixie has been associated with Jacksonville for so long that it's hard to believe that it didn't originate here. Company founder William Milton (W. M.) Davis hailed from Texas. In 1913, he bought a Burley, Idaho, general store and renamed it "Davis Mercantile." Taking the advice of his brother Carl, however, W. M. moved to Florida during the Land Boom of the Twenties. He purchased a Miami store, the Rockmoor Grocery, and his family changed its name to "Table Supply" in 1927. It began to branch northward to Tampa and the central part of the state. (CLICK HERE for the first Table Supply.)
After W. M.'s death in
1934, his sons, the four gentlemen above, assumed responsibility for the chain. Five
years later, Jacksonville finally gained their company's headqua
The Idaho store had gone bust because it fell victim to new
grocery concept: cash-only purchases.
Many small town grocers had extended credit to their regular customers.
The Davis Brothers learned from this failure, so they required cash from their
customers. After acquiring Winn &
Lovett, moreover, they super-sized everything, with larger stores boasting
more variety and lower prices. Following
By the way, you may have heard of a best-selling, award-winning children's book called Because of Winn-Dixie. In this fictional story by Kate DiCamillo, a girl moves to a Florida town after her mother's death. She starts to improve her life and find her place in the world because of her dog, Winn-Dixie. And that's why the tale has its unusual title!