Grocery Life July 3, 2014

produce employee pic
Brent, Aaron, and Jeff

Grocery Life July 3, 2014

By Tom Butler

Good afternoon from Butler and Bailey Market. I hope everyone is having a good week! We have been busy at the store this week and I hope it gets busier.

Mr. Johnson finished up our quarterly financial statement Tuesday. Considering what we have spent on upgrades and repairs the last six months, it looked pretty good. Pretty good means we aren’t going to have to borrow money to pay the bills. I hate borrowing money! My dad loaned me the money to get started here and several times he had to loan me money to keep going here. I think the biggest reason small businesses fail is they start out under-capitalized and they run out of places to keep borrowing money. I was lucky that my dad was willing to keep making loans or I would have fallen victim to this as well. I have friends that maxed out their credit card and borrowed against their house just to keep their businesses going. Some have become millionaires and some are broke without a place to live. I hated to have to keep going to my dad to borrow money but it was great motivation to work hard and make the store work. Failure is not an option when you owe a family member money.

Nancy and Mark 2
Nancy and Mark

Once I got him paid off I figured I would be on easy street. No more having to answer to my dad and no more monthly payments. I finally actually owned my own small business. Not long after that my dad passed away then three months later my friend and longtime partner, Mr. Bailey, passed away. This was in early 2009 which also happened to be the start of the second great depression for the U.S. economy. So much for easy street. Business got tough and I had lost my life-long mentors as well as financial support.

stocker employee pic 2
Dave, Jill, Liz, and Madison

I moped around here for several months watching the business struggle and not having the motivation to do anything about it. At some point I had a moment of clarity and realized that all the employees that worked here were still working hard trying to make my business successful and they needed me engaged to make that happen. So what do I do? I did what small business people do. I went to the bank and took out a line of credit against my house so we could remodel the store. I have learned that there is no such thing as “easy street” in small business. There is always a new challenge just around the corner that will test you mentally and financially. I am lucky to have the support of a great staff and we are lucky to have the support of you.

stockers employee pic 1
Calder, Cameron, Mike, Deana


We will always try to support small businesses by selling their products in the store and shopping with them in their stores. I don’t know all their stories but I would guess most of them have had to bet their house at some point along their way.Click here for a list of some of their products we sell.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. We will be open normal hours which are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • The meat department will be cutting a great variety of fresh meats for the grill and preparing meats on the smoker.
  • The deli/bakery will be frying chicken all day and making salads and desserts to go with it.
  • The produce department now has South Carolina peaches as well as a wide variety of vegetables from local farms.
meat employee pic
Ashley, Rick, Alex, Scott, Greg

I am working tomorrow but Saturday I am going to try the beef brisket recipe a customer gave me last week. I will take home some ribs and chicken we cook here for back-up in case I screw-up the brisket. I am also going to take home one of Nancy’s peanut butter pies and if I get time, I will make thumbprint cookies with red, white, and blue icing.

Jason and Kirk in Deli
Jason and Kirk

I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July weekend!

Thanks for letting us be a part of your community,

Tom Butler



Butler and Bailey Market

7513 Northshore Dr.

Knoxville, TN 37919


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