Easy-Way specialized in produce. As of 2009, it operated one full-service grocery store in Memphis and seven produce-only locations in Memphis and its suburbs. It was known locally for having orange storefronts.
The first Easy-Way store was opened in downtown Memphis in 1932 by Pate Carter, a native of Cordova. The original location is still in operation as the chain's only full-service grocery store. In December 2003 the downtown store was damaged in a fire that destroyed an adjacent grocery store, but it had no structural damage, and reopened less than one month after the fire.
Produce-only stores were first added in the early 1970s. In 2001 the company built a 54,000-square-foot (5,000 m2) warehouse and distribution center, which is the company headquarters and the base of a wholesale operation that supplies fruits and vegetables to many local restaurants, as well as to competing grocers when their inventories run low. The retail stores did not add Sunday operating hours until 2008.
Ownership and management of the business have remained in the Carter family. Its current owners, brothers Barry Carter, Jr. and David Carter, are grandsons of the founder. In 2005, David Carter attributed the company's long survival in the face of competition from larger stores to the convenience of its neighborhood store locations, its ability to deliver fresher produce than larger stores, its responsiveness to customer suggestions, and the absence of a corporate bureaucracy. The chain has been a winner in the "Most Appealing Produce" category in Memphis Commercial Appeal reader polls.
David Carter died on January 20, 2014, in the Easy Way Warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The last store closed on April 27, 2018.
- Locations, Easy-Way Produce Stores website, accessed June 21, 2009
- Memphis Commercial Appeal, August 12, 2007
- Easy-Way Produce Stores website, accessed June 21, 2009
- Michael Sheffield, It's gotta be fresh; Easy Way survives among grocery giants by rushing produce to neighborhood stores, Memphis Business Journal, Friday, September 9, 2005
- Daniel Davis, Rebuilding the Hard Way; Family-owned grocery reopens after downtown fire, Memphis Flyer, January 30, 2004
- Dawn of a New Day: Easy-Way Stores Open on Sunday, Memphis Flyer, September 26, 2008
- Nguyen, Lynnanne (January 31, 2014). "Dir. Armstrong: Easy Way Co-Owner Death was a Suicide". WHBQ-TV-Fox 13.
- "After 86 years, last Easy Way grocery closes". WREG.com. 2018-04-27. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
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