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Jackson News

Posted on: April 4, 2017

March Business Highlight: Beatty Street Grocery

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                                                     Beatty Street Grocery, Inc.

                                 City of Jackson – March 2017 Business Highlight

      Beatty Street Grocery, located at 101 Beatty Street, has been named March 2017’s Business Highlight. The highly popular downtown eatery/grocery business was opened in 1940 by Mack and Irene Baldwin as a small grocery store. He was the grandparents of present owner, Mary Harden, who has operated the business since taking over for her parents Carolyn and Malcolm, in 2007.  In the infancy stage the business was a small grocery store that was the sole source of grocery for residents of the immediate area that, during the times, needed and were provided delivery service as late as 10:00 p.m. Upon Jackson Packing Company and Metal Processors moving into the area their employees would come by to purchase cold cut sandwich lunches and sit outside on the window seal to dine. Seeing a need, in 1948 the Baldwins enlarged the store to its present size and began serving an expanded variety of cold cuts, in addition they also added hot lunch type food options such hamburgers and hot dogs and they provided tables and chairs so the customers could feel right at home. Beatty Street Grocery’s southern country business concept of eatery/grocery, which was common during that era, has prevailed and even thrived throughout these modern times in a city setting, with the vast majority of sales coming from the eatery segment. By owner intent, the 77 year old business still maintains the nostalgic look, with the original handwritten deed signed by Mr. Baldwin that denotes a purchase price of $250.00 hanging on the wall, the original tables, seating, and iron rails still being in place, in addition, nostalgia persist through a credit book preserved by Mrs. Harden that was used in the early years by her grandfather to grant credit to needy customers.    

          Mrs. Harden, who grew up in the Jackson in the vicinity of the store and graduated from Forest Hill High School, attributes the longevity of the business to the family providing good products and service to all customers. She stated that her mother once told her that “if the business doesn’t provide good products and service the customer most likely won’t say anything, they just won’t return”. Going even further, Mrs. Harden, who currently employs 8, said as she strives daily to perfect the business she “works hard and prays”. She said she is most appreciative of the customers that come back day after day and order the hamburgers, fried bologna sandwiches, the blue plate lunch specials and the old time cold cuts, such as liver cheese and hog head cheese.

          One way Beatty Street Grocery acknowledges customer and community patronage is through their many monetary contributions to area organizations such as a neighboring church, George Elementary School, of which she attended through 2nd grade, Billy Brumfield House, and Stewpot. Even further donations are given St. Jude Children’s Hospital, lung cancer research, and others.

          Mrs. Harden is the married to Ed, who retired from serving as a Jackson Public School system administrator, with his last position being an assistant principal at Jim Hill High School. The couple are  parents of two daughters, Blair Harden Jussely, a successful tax lawyer, and the other one being Skylar Laine, professional singer-songwriter, who burst on the national scene when she appeared as a finalist on the famed talent show, American Idol. Mrs. Harden said she hasn’t lined up a business succession plan, but she doubts either daughter will wind up actually working and managing the business as she has.       

          Mrs. Harden is proud to be a part of the City of Jackson and said even though the city is in the midst of some problems, as she often reminds and informs critics, Jackson is no different than a lot of other similar sized cities throughout the country where varied problems exist.  She is very confident that Jackson has a prosperous future and is complimentary of city personnel as they navigate through difficult situations.  As Mr. Harden is proud, the City of Jackson’s administration is also proud to have Beatty Street Grocery as a staple business in the downtown area that has stood the test of time and is positively influencing our business community, thus the administration, led by Mayor Tony T. Yarber, congratulates Mrs. Harden for this much deserved recognition.         

            

 

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