5 grocery stores that came and went in Waxahachie

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If you know what grocery stores used to be in these old locations, you’re among the Waxahachie old guard.

Since the 1970s, Waxahachie has had at least five grocery store chains that exited town as trends and buyer preferences evolved. The buildings that they occupied have been vacant, altered and reopened as a different business many times, but if you’re a longtime Waxahachie resident, you’ll remember the popular grocery store chains that were doing business in them long before H.E.B came to be the dominant food shopping destination in town.

Piggly Wiggly

Photo of old Piggly Wiggly building in Waxahachie Texas
506 Ferris Avenue has barely changed since it was one of Waxahachie’s main grocery stores.

Down on the south end of town in the 500 block of Ferris Avenue is an old, beige building surrounded by a weedy parking lot that shows what Waxahachie would look like without landscaping requirements. It’s easy to drive by it now and never give it a second thought, but back in the 1960s, the location was bright, cheery and bustling with shoppers who filled one of Waxahachie’s main grocery stores, Piggly Wiggly.

Piggly Wiggly had a limited selection by today’s standards. The store mostly consisted of aisles of canned food sandwiched between a meat department and a bread section. Milk and eggs were at the back and a tiny produce section seemed almost an afterthought, but it was all an earlier generation thought they needed for their weekly grocery shopping — that is until two bigger chains came to town.

By the mid 1980s, Piggly Wiggly, like the A&P grocery store that had previously occupied the building before it, couldn’t measure up to its more contemporary rivals and closed its doors.

Piggly Wiggly


Photo of old Kroger building
308 North College Street served as Kroger’s foothold in Waxahachie in the early 1970s.

As a company, Kroger was just short of being 100 years old when it made its Waxahachie debut at 308 North College Street in the early 1970s, a few blocks from the Ellis County courthouse, in a building that had previously been the location of Wyatt Grocery Store.

With a bigger produce section and bakery, Kroger brought a larger selection to town and introduced shoppers to a more modern grocery store layout. It was considered a bit pricey at the time but appealed to younger shoppers who quickly made Kroger into Waxahachie’s dominant grocery destination.

Photo of Kroger location in Waxahachie Texas
Kroger moved to 401 North North U.S. Highway 77 in the mid 1970s.

Kroger’s downtown location obviously served as a mere foothold in the community until the chain could build a new and bigger location at 401 North U.S. Highway 77 around 1978. The modern facility was the anchor of the strip shopping center that was known then as Kroger Plaza.

Kroger’s freshly baked breads, huge produce section and convenient deli were all new new to Waxahachie shoppers, so the store grew in popularity until by the early 1990s, it expanded again and moved to its third location just a stone’s throw to the north at 505 North U.S. Highway 77.

Photo of Kroger location in Waxahachie Texas
The building at 505 North U.S. Highway 77 was Kroger’s third move in Waxahachie.

At its new location, Kroger had everything that contemporary shoppers have come to expect from a grocery store, with an emphasis on fresh foods and take-home meals. Kroger was even the first store in Waxahachie to have an organic and vegetarian section.

But as the new millennium came and Kroger had left its previous location open for a popular Texas-based food store to establish roots, the chain eventually suffered the consequences of the build-and-vacate strategy that plagues small towns. By letting H.E.B. become its local rival in the ready-made and easily renovated grocery store building it had just vacated, Kroger laid the groundwork for its own local demise.

Walmart had also expanded in the late 1990s with an expansive grocery selection. Together, Walmart and H.E.B drove Kroger out of town by the early 2000s as there were simply too many grocery store offerings and the local market was oversaturated.


Photo of Waxahachie Safeway building
Safeway built a new location at 610 Ferris Avenue in Waxahachie.

Safeway built a new store just a few yards behind its smaller location at 610 Ferris Avenue in the early 1970s. When the new location was complete, the old store was torn down in a week and leveled into the parking lot.

For almost a decade, Safeway was Kroger’s main rival in town, but it never matched Kroger’s selection. The chain pulled out of town by the early 1980s and gave way to the expansion of another grocery chain that was gaining ground in Waxahachie.

Minyard Food Stores

507 North U.S. Highway 77 was the original location of Minyard Food Stores in Waxahachie, Texas.

At 507 North U.S. Highway 77, Minyard Food Stores anchored Northgate Shopping Center in the 1970s and was one of the major grocery chains vying for shoppers in Waxahachie.

Compared to Kroger, it was a throwback to an earlier time and had no bakery or deli and lacked the selection that shoppers had come to expect. But, it attracted shoppers with huge discounts on canned goods. Many shoppers therefore bought their staples at Minyard and then went to Kroger for the rest of their shopping list.

Minyard eventually took over the building left vacant by Safeway and expanded its offerings. It remained in businesses for decades but exited town in the mid 2010s when the whole chain withdrew from the state for good.

Winn Dixie

Photo of Gibson store building in Waxahachie Texas
Winn Dixie opened in Waxahachie at 600 North U.S. Highway 77.

As a grocery store player in Waxahachie, Winn Dixie was never quite able to measure up to its competitors. In the 1980s, it took over the old Gibson’s building after the location had served for some time as Waxahachie Flea Market. [Gibson’s was a forerunner of Walmart and offered general merchandise in Waxahachie throughout the 1970s.]

Winn Dixie eventually closed by the 1990s, and then reopened a little later for one last try before closing for good by the new millennium. With its tagline of “The Beef People” and its emphasis on meat, the chain simply couldn’t attract the patronage of an increasingly health-aware consumer that opted for nutritious foods and demanded greater selection than this relic of grocery stores past could offer.

Others that came and went

Throughout the grocery store closings, moves and exits in Waxahachie over the last 40 years, small players have made their appearance in the old Piggly Wiggly location. Jewel T, Texas T and Save-a-Lot came and went as precursors to the bag-your-own-in-our-old-drab-store discount concept. None of these lasted more than a decade or ever attracted many shoppers.


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4 thoughts on “5 grocery stores that came and went in Waxahachie”

  1. I’m almost positive that before Kroger (in the CA Wilson bldg) it was Wyatt’s Grocery Store. I was pretty small but went every week with my Mom and Granny.

    • I as a kid worked there in the very back. I would sell coke bottles to them so much they paid me to sort and separate them by name brands. I man named Kenneth Fleming was the manager. Empty bottles went for three cents a bottle, back when they had returned bottles. When the price went up to ten cents a bottle I thought I was going to be rich.

  2. Just a note: Winn Dixie also operated out of the current HEB Store beferore closing. My son was the
    Assistant Manager when it closed.

    • Winn Dixie was a little to the south of the current H.E.B. location. Where H.E.B. is now was built by H.E.B. in 1997 and has never been anything but H.E.B. Previously, it was a field between Whataburger and the high school (now junior high).

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