When the founder of this 59-year-old pharmacy passed away, his family wanted to use old traditions to build a plan for the future. When Jack Fruth went to get his West Virginia pharmacy license in 1952, he took his pregnant wife with him on the five-hour long car ride. On the way home, they were both hungry and wanted to stop at a restaurant to get something to eat. With only a quarter to spend, the two had enough money to split an ice cream cone. Six months later, the couple opened Fruth Pharmacy, which 59 years later has grown to 25 stores and $135 million in annual revenue.

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After emerging from bankruptcy in 2006, Winn-Dixie has taken the southern grocery market by storm by restoring consistency to store operations, transforming its aging store base, and focusing on customers’ needs on a market-by-market basis.

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In March, Wegmans Food Markets was named to Ethisphere’s 2011 “World’s Most Ethical Companies” List for a third time. The first came in 2007 and the second in 2010. CEO Danny Wegman said of the recognition, “…it shines a light on the importance of our values: caring, respect, high standards, empowerment, and making a difference in the community.”

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Charles E. Williams took his first trip to France in 1953 and fell in love with items such as copper cookware. He is quoted as saying, “I knew this was something that wasn’t found in America but thought people would want.”

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Across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, the name Wawa represents more than the Lenni Lanape Indian word for Canadian goose. For more than 200 years, the name has also stood for convenience. But judging from its history, perhaps it should also stand for evolution.

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Cotter & Company acquired the True Value trademark in 1962 for $2,500 as part of a $2.5 million acquisition by the cooperative, which also obtained the assets of Hibbard Spencer Bartlett & Company. Today, that trademark is synonymous with independent hardware chains, of which there are more than 5,000 stores across 54 countries that currently belong to the co-op.

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For farmers, horse owners, ranchers, part-time and hobby farmers, suburban and rural homeowners, contractors, and tradesmen, TSC doesn’t just stand for Tractor Supply Company. It also stands for Totally Satisfied Customer.

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Charles Lazarus was only 25 when he decided to live his dream of creating a child-oriented business. He was only 35 when he decided to adopt the supermarket model for his store, allowing customers to examine and pick out products on their own and pay for them at a checkout stand. When he opened his second store, he again made waves by settling on the name Toys “R” Us and turning the “R” backward.

Read more: Toys “R” Us

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