BLUEFIELD — “Eat This, Not That!” magazine has ranked Grant’s Supermarket the most popular grocery store in West Virginia.
“This charming grocery store chain has been around since 1949 and has locations spanning across West Virginia and Virginia,” the magazine article said.
Grant’s co-owner Ron Martin said the distinction is an honor.
“This is an awesome honor for Grant’s,” he said. “We thank our customers and employees who make everything we do possible.”
Grant’s now has 16 stores across the region, including the latest in Bluewell, where Grant’s moved into the former Kroger store.
“We are honored to serve this community and love where we live and are blessed to be able to do what we do in our area,” Martin said.
The magazine distinction was based on customer rankings and includes a comprehensive list of the most popular grocery store in every state.
“Being recognized nationally is a huge honor for the hardworking people that work with us and choose to shop with us,” he said.
Martin, who was raised in the Sandlick area, is also mayor of Bluefield and an attorney, graduating from West Virginia School of Law after finishing Princeton High School and Concord University.
At one time, he worked at the former Warden’s grocery store in Bluewell, an experience that made an impression.
The grocery store experience stuck with him, as well as his friendship with others interested in the grocery business – Grants co-owners Ron Cruey and Randle Grant.
After law school he was senior vice president of business and legal affairs for Wisdom Media Group and Turner Vision.
But all that changed when he and Cruey, Cruey’s wife Kelly, and Grant decided in 2003 to open a grocery store in Doran, Va. (near Richlands in Tazewell County).
“Then we started growing, and I worked it into a full-time job,” Martin said in a previous article.
The company, Hometown Grocery, does business as Grant’s Supermarkets and now operates 16 grocery stores in three states employing close to 500 people.
The magazine determined the most popular grocery store for each state by looking at a list of top grocery stores according to Yelp.
“While most top grocery stores also turned out to be restaurants or delis, we were able to decipher a few top supermarkets from the list,” the magazine article said. “We also turned to Google reviews to see which stores had the top ratings based on the number of reviews they received. If the store is a chain with multiple top-rated grocery stores, we determined the best supermarkets based on overall ratings for the store.”
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