Upstart Belle Foods Acquires Southern Family Markets

A newly formed Alabama company is buying Birmingham-based Southern Family Markets, which operates 57 stores under the Food World, Piggly Wiggly, Bruno’s and Southern Family banners in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, for an undisclosed sum.

Retail industry veteran William (Bill) White, who formed upstart Belle Foods for the sole purpose of purchasing Southern Family Markets, serves as president and CEO while his son, Jeff, serves as chief administrative officer. Having served as CFO with a number of companies since 1987 and also working for several family businesses in a chief strategic advisor capacity, Bill White has spent the past 30 years in retail and wholesale distribution.

White said the newly formed Birmingham-based company is “look[ing] forward with great anticipation to growing this business, being strong partners in the communities we will serve and bringing back the family-owned roots which have always made these stores so special.”

Max Henderson, president of Southern Family Markets, meanwhile, said the transaction, “Brings many great opportunities to all who are involved. It will allow the business to continue its commitment to its communities, to develop and grow its associates, and to improve operations.”

Belle Foods said it intends to provide offers of employment to Southern Family Markets associates as it works with union representatives throughout the ownership transition.

The Food Partners is acting as Southern Family Markets’ strategic and financial advisor for the deal, which is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. After the transition is complete, Birmingham Logistics LLC, a subsidiary of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., will continue to provide the full array of warehousing, distribution, and procurement services to all stores.

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