|A Joplin based grocery business celebrates its 25th year in operation this year. CNW Foods, owner of Food 4 Less in Joplin and Springfield was started in 1983 by Dick Casey, president, and partners Dr. Robert Willcoxon and the late Joseph Newman with their first grocery store in Baxter Springs, KS. In addition to the Food 4 Less stores, CNW has owned as many as five IGA grocery stores and one greenhouse operation through the years.
Casey said there are several reasons for the success of their business. One is local ownership, the second reason can be attributed to the longevity of its management team with many years of service of the employees ranging up to 25 years.
Besides Casey and Willcoxon, Brooke Rentfro, Joplin store manager and Cheryl Hynes, Joplin general merchandise manager have been with the company from the beginning. General Manager John Watson, Meat Manager Gene Lawless, Controller Bob Austin and Lynne Garner have been with the company over 20 years.
Casey said that stability and the total combined years of experience pays off in day to day operations. “In today’s
economy,” Casey said, “this is the kind of competitive edge a company needs to be successful.”
Food 4 Less in Joplin is completing a major renovation project within the store with an emphasis on energy containment. The Springfield store will undergo the same process later in the year.