The new Allsup’s opened at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 and, even though it’s store number one in
Sweetwater, it’s the three hundred and nineteenth store in the Allsup’s line-up; proving that initiative and hard work continue to pay off for Lonnie and Barbara Allsup.
The Allsup’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 Allsup’s (Lonnie’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 Allsup’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.
Allsup’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 Allsup’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 - “there’s no room for fear if you are to succeed and make your business pay off.”
He also believes in advertising. “With no advertising, all the hard work is for nothing. You must get people into the store.”
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 Allsup’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.
“Technology has allowed us to be even more responsive to our customers’ needs, streamlining our overhead while increasing our corporate efficiencies,” Barbara Allsup.
At Allsup’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 “Mother 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.
Allsup’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.