The new Allsupâ€™s opened at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 and, even though itâ€™s store number one in
Sweetwater, itâ€™s the three hundred and nineteenth store in the Allsupâ€™s line-up; proving that initiative and hard work continue to pay off for Lonnie and Barbara Allsup.
The Allsupâ€™s bought their first store in 1956 in Roswell, N.M. They opened with $200 in stock, $5,000 worth of fixtures and $400 of working capital. Working the store himself, Allsup said he gave it his all and, within the first year and a half, he had increased the volume from $4,000 to $20,000 per month.
In the beginning, Allsup ran the store himself, even doing the remodeling and designing the store layout. Eventually, he was able to hire a manager and additional employees.
A second Allsupâ€™s (Lonnieâ€™s 7 to 11 Drive-In Grocery) was acquired in April of 1958 and a third store was opened in January of 1959 - both in Roswell.
Even at 23 years old, Allsup believed that Drive-In Grocery Stores would be the trend. He believed shoppers wanted to be able to get in and out of the store quickly, they wanted convenient shopping hours and a wide variety of supplies.
The Allsupâ€™s have long been recognized as the original innovators of selling cooked foods through convenience stores, and they still do big business with their top-quality hot foods - from their World Famous Beef and Bean Burrito to the various Tyson Chicken products, the newest Hatch Green Chile menu items and a wide-variety of other hot foods.
Allsupâ€™s was also one of the first C-Store Chains to sell gasoline. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s most people bought their fuel at a gas station. But Allsup understood that customers had a need for speed and convenience and soon began offering 24-hour self-serve gasoline at his stores.
Today, the Allsupâ€™s own more than 300 Convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, all of which are open 24 hours a day, sell fuel, hot prepared foods, grocery and household items, picnic supplies, paper goods and more.
Allsup believes in being bold and aggressive - â€śthereâ€™s no room for fear if you are to succeed and make your business pay off.â€ť
He also believes in advertising. â€śWith no advertising, all the hard work is for nothing. You must get people into the store.â€ť
And, he makes it a rule to use outstanding promotions to keep a lively interest in the stores and to keep sales at a peak. Even in the beginning he was giving away cars filled with groceries. In Sweetwater, customers may enter to win a 2013 Honda Recon ES - see store for details.
As the Chief Financial Officer, Barbara Allsup is also hands-on in the business. In 1993 she oversaw the development of the Allsupâ€™s Proprietary Point of Sale and Price Book technology which includes PC Point of Sale Systems, AS/400 ASP Support, Broad Band Satellite and Credit Card Switching.
â€śTechnology has allowed us to be even more responsive to our customersâ€™ needs, streamlining our overhead while increasing our corporate efficiencies,â€ť Barbara Allsup.
At Allsupâ€™s, being the best means working hard all the time to serve and please our many customers. The Allsups still come to work everyday; which could mean being in the office, visiting stores, overseeing construction or attending grand openings and other events.
In addition to bearing the titles of â€śMother and Father of the Modern Day Convenience Stores, the Allsups own a Petroleum Jobber Ship, Software Development Company, a chain of Radio Stations and World Championship Cutting Horse Ranches in Texas and New Mexico.
Allsupâ€™s will host a Grand Opening beginning on Sunday, Feb. 16 and continuing through Saturday, March 8 with sales, food, prizes and lots of extra activities for the entire community. Watch (and listen) for the ads in the Sweetwater Reporter, American Classifieds and on 95.1, The Wolf.