It’s work, work, work but John Fred Lancaster said he would have it no other way.
And 389 Grocery has been very busy serving customers as quickly as possible from dawn to dusk six days a week as long as it has been located at the corner of Highway 389, Jackson Street and Woodland Circle.
for the past 12 years.
Billed as a community grocery, the store has just about anything for someone on the go.
“The idea is to get them in and get them out as fast as we can,” said Lancaster. “People stop by here on the way to work or to school. They want a coke, a bite of something eat, gas up their car or some coffee.”
And 389 Grocery has been serving it that way since it opened 12 years ago.
“I’ve been in the retail business for about 15 years and old timers will remember when I had a store next to Sonic on North Jackson,” said Lancaster. “I brought those customers with me and we run this store the same way.”
Lancaster said the best part of this labor intensive business is seeing his regular customers.
“I’ve got folks who come in like clockwork,” said Lancaster. “They come in and usually buy the same thing every day. It’s part of their day. We try to get them started off right.”
The corner grocery has gas pumps with competitive prices and sells automotive fluids inside.
They offer deli meats, soft-drinks and snacks of all kinds.
389 Grocery also carries a wide variety of discount cigarettes and tobaccos and is glad to cater to customer’s needs.
“We also sell live bait and tackle,” said Lancaster. “And we will listen to your fishing story, too.”
Lancaster has four fulltime employees and a handful of part-time people to fill in the gaps.
“I don’t think people realize how many hours you have to be open with a convenience story,” said Lancaster. “You’ve got to be open all day and just about everyday for the customer. They will go somewhere else if you don’t.”
Lancaster said he prides himself in offering a wide variety of items in one location.
“We tell people we are the little store that has a little bit of everything,” said Lancaster.
Owner: John Fred Lancaster
Location: 711 South Jackson, Houston
Hours: 5:30 a.m. -7 p.m., Mon-Fri. 5:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Local Focus is a regular business feature of the Chickasaw Journal. Locally owned businesses wanting to be included in Local Focus should call the Chickasaw Journal at 456-3771.