A Golden Destination in Georgia

This midsize retailer is reinventing its traditional convenience store model.

November 30, 2022

ATHENS, Ga.—The first Golden Pantry Food Store opened in Athens, Georgia, in the Five Points Neighborhood. It was 1965, and a gallon of gasoline cost 31 cents, but it wasn’t until 1973 that the convenience retailer added fuel dispensers to its stores.

Here’s another fun fact: Golden Pantry Food Store employee Barbara Dooley promoted pantyhose at the stores in 1978!

Leapfrog to 2019, when the retailer opened its Golden Pantry Market in downtown Athens—its first store without fuel and a stone’s throw from the University of Georgia campus.

Featured in the November NACS Magazine’s Ideas 2 Go section, Golden Pantry Stores are a local favorite (see also the October digital pdf). Family-owned for nearly 60 years, the company’s 30-plus c-stores and deli stores are destinations for traditional convenience items, from-scratch biscuits made every morning, and a hearty breakfast menu.

“Local businesses endure when they adapt,” Katie Morris, director of marketing for Golden Pantry Food Stores, shared in NACS Magazine. “Our goal is to evoke comfort and curiosity when customers enter our stores. Even though I’m part of the team that oversees changes in these stores, I still feel like I’m on a treasure hunt every time I go in the Market—and that’s the experience we want for our customers.”

In 2019, Golden Pantry reopened a store in Bishop, Georgia, that is the retailer’s first raze and rebuild of a traditional store. The new design is intended to attract new customers and continue to feel comfortable to loyal patrons. “Customers will continue to notice nods to our company heritage throughout our stores. The door handles in our new stores are bowties reminiscent of our vintage logo and marquee signs,” she said.

Golden Pantry will continue to roll out its new concepts, introducing at least three more stores in the next two years. Read more about Golden Pantry’s success in the NACS Magazine Ideas 2 Go piece, “Eat. Drink. Be Golden.