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08/25/2022

Food City to Acquire Cooke’s Food Store/Fresh n’ Lows

Acquisition includes 5 locations in Greater Cleveland, Tenn., market area
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Food City to Open 1st Alabama Store
Food City plans to retain the Cooke’s/Fresh n’ Low name and operate both formats in a similar fashion for the immediate future.

Amid the business’ ongoing expansion, Food City officials have revealed plans to acquire the Cooke’s family of stores in the greater Cleveland, Tenn., market area. The stores range in size from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet and include five Fresh n’ Low locations, as well as the Cooke’s Food Store & Pharmacy.

Family-owned and -operated Cooke’s was founded in 1936. The chain has been dedicated to providing top-notch customer service through four generations. Its locations are known for their fresh-cut meats, deli, fresh produce, full-service Cooke’s Pharmacy and community involvement.

The acquired locations are as follows:

  • Fresh n’ Low, 3870 Candies Creek Lane NW, Cleveland, Tenn.
  • Fresh n’ Low, 2010 Broomfield Road SE, Cleveland, Tenn.
  • Fresh n’ Low, 99 Highway 286, Eton, Ga.
  • Fresh n’ Low, 101 State Highway 58 South, Georgetown, Tenn.
  • Fresh n’ Low, 116 Whitewater Drive, Ocoee, Tenn.
  • Cooke’s Food Store & Pharmacy, 3400 Keith Street NW, Cleveland, Tenn.

While Food City plans to make significant capital investments in the Bradley County and greater Cleveland markets, the company intends to retain the Cooke’s/Fresh n’ Low name and operate both formats in a similar fashion for the immediate future. Food City will also endeavor to hire the vast majority of the stores’ associates.

“We’re extremely excited to add the Cooke’s family of stores to our existing Food City locations, which have served the Cleveland community for many years. We plan to make some large investments in the greater Cleveland area to ensure the future success of our new teammates,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and CEO.

“On behalf of the entire family, we thank the Cleveland community, our customers and our employees for your loyalty and support," noted Dan Cooke, chief executive of the Cooke family of stores. "It has been a privilege to serve you for the past 86 years. We are grateful that our employees will have the opportunity to continue our commitment to the community.”

The Food Partners acted as financial advisor to Cooke’s in the transaction.  “We hope to finalize the acquisition and begin operation of the Cooke’s family of stores by Oct. 1,” said Smith.

Food City also recently added to its operations in Tennessee with a new store in East Ridge. The more than 54,000-square-foot location opened in June in the town, which is east of Chattanooga and just north of the Georgia state line.

Meanwhile, Food City has been expanding its e-commerce platform. Last month, the grocer expanded its partnership with DoorDash to include on-demand grocery delivery in 117 stores across its five state operating region. The partnership also includes on-demand delivery of a wide assortment of fresh floral arrangements in participating localities.

Food City’s parent company, Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food Stores, operates 140 retail outlets throughout southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee, north Georgia and Alabama. K-VA-T is No. 68 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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