Photos upon request
BIRMINGHAM – The Alabama Retail Association today recognized 15 retail businesses with operations in 78 Alabama cities as Alabama Retailers of the Year or Centennial Retailers. Together, these businesses employ 2,278 people at 97 locations in Alabama. Almost 100 nominations were submitted for the 2018 Retailer of the Year awards. These are the winners. The presentations were made in Birmingham during the 2018 Retail Day luncheon. Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors, Slappey Communications and the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business were the luncheon sponsors.
This marked the 19th presentation of the Retailer of the Year Awards since 1999 and the 14th Alabama Centennial Retailer awards presented since 2002.
2018 ALABAMA CENTENNIAL RETAILERS
- Pollman’s Bake Shops Inc., Mobile: Founded in 1918 by Fred J. and Corrine Pollman. The current owners are Fred and Rose Pollman. (Video)
- Trowbridge Creamery, Florence: Founded in 1918 by Paul Trowbridge. The current owner is Don Trowbridge. (Video)
ALABAMA RETAILERS OF THE YEAR
A panel of judges chose the Alabama Retailer of the Year winners in four categories based on annual sales volume. Bronze, silver and gold awards were presented. The winners have been in business for at least five years and an average of 30 years. The judges also selected an Emerging Retailer of the Year, who has been in business for less than five years. A Facebook contest determined the Customers’ Choice Award.
ANNUAL SALES LESS THAN $1 MILLION
- GOLD AWARD: Lisette Normann, owner of The Fairhope Store; nominated by the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.
- SILVER AWARD: Theo and Costas “Gus” Katechis, owner and manager, respectively, of Chris’ Famous Hot Dogs in Montgomery; nominated by customer Travis Rutherford.
- BRONZE AWARD: Annette Harris, owner and president of Rumors Deli Inc. in Cullman; nominated by customer and former employee Cindy Barton, and recommended by the Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce.
ANNUAL SALES $1 MILLION TO $5 MILLION
- GOLD AWARD: George R. Wilder, owner and chief executive officer of The Locker Room in Montgomery and Auburn; nominated by John Lee, Hamilton Smith, Matthew Sease, Josh Davis and Tom Moore, employees of The Locker Room; and Laura Hicks, account manager, STAMP.
- SILVER AWARD: Dustin and Shannon Beaty, owners of Lavish Boutique and Coffee Bar in Jasper, and Lavish Boutique in Cullman; nominated by Jasper Main Street. The Beatys and Lavish also won the Customers’ Choice Award, earning 3,112 of 23,609 votes cast.
- BRONZE AWARD: Steven and Jessica Brindley, owners of Brindley’s Family Pharmacy in Albertville; nominated by the Albertville Chamber of Commerce.
ANNUAL SALES $5 MILLION TO $20 MILLION
- GOLD AWARD: Ashley Gill, owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Northport; nominated by The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
- SILVER AWARD (Two-Way Tie):
- Charlene Haber, owner/president of Wolf Bay Restaurant, Bar & Boutique in Foley and Orange Beach; nominated by the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce.
- Brian and Jodi Harsany, owners of Cobalt The Restaurant in Orange Beach; nominated by the Alabama Small Business Development Center – University of Alabama; and the city of Orange Beach.
ANNUAL SALES MORE THAN $20 MILLION
- GOLD AWARD: The team at Renfroe’s Market in Montgomery (2) and Dadeville. Robert Renfroe, owner, and Rob Renfroe, vice president. Nominated by Michelle Locke, wife of Renfroe’s operations manager David Locke.
- SILVER AWARD: Jay Welborn, partner with B&W Foods Inc., dba Piggly Wiggly, in Northport and three Tuscaloosa locations; nominated by The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
- BRONZE AWARD: Jeff Rosenthal, president and chief executive officer of Birmingham-based Hibbett Sports with stores in 74 Alabama cities plus 34 other states and online; nominated by Birmingham Business Alliance.
GEE EMERGING RETAILER OF THE YEAR
- Zebbie Carney, owner of Eugene’s Hot Chicken in Birmingham; nominated by the Birmingham Business Alliance.
“It is an honor to be able to recognize such an outstanding group of retailers. Each retailer honored is a credit to their community and the retail industry,” said Rick Brown, president of the Alabama Retail Association.
The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, our 4,200 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living. Since 1943, we’ve worked to promote what’s best for the retail industry in Alabama. Whether voicing the retail view when public policy is made, educating members about issues that impact them, negotiating rates for benefits and services or communicating the retail story, the Alabama Retail Association and its members are better together.