Jackson Mitchell Holdings Inc. closed on a deal this week to purchase Little Giant Farmer's Market Corp., which operates five Georgia grocery stores, from its founding Dixon family. A purchase price was not disclosed.
Little Giant will continue to operate under its current corporate structure as a wholly owned subsidiary of Jackson Mitchell Holdings Inc., a division of the Albertville, Ala., wholesale supplier Mitchell Grocery Corp., the latter of which will take over as Little Giant’s primary wholesaler. The company was previously affiliated with Supervalu, now a division of United Natural Foods.
The Little Giant locations in the deal include the original Riverdale, Ga., location, its flagship store in Jonesboro, Ga., two stores in Newnan, Ga., and one store in Decatur, Ga.
Little Giant was founded in Riverdale in 1984 as a farmers market by the father and son team of Bruce and Mickey Dixon and became a full-service grocery chain in 2002, eventually growing to five metro Atlanta locations.
With the sale of the company, owner Mickey Dixon is stepping away.
“I'm very pleased with Jackson [Mitchell] taking over this operation. Little Giant has been my family away from family for the last 30 years, and I feel very confident about these great people going forward with our vision,” Mickey Dixon said in a release. “I feel that they have the same morals and standards that align with our company values, and that is very important to me. The fact that they are honoring all employees by allowing them to continue to work here makes me feel good, and I am confident that I am leaving our loyal customers and employees in great hands.”
Jackson Mitchell, the founder and CEO of Jackson Mitchell Holdings, is a fourth-generation member of his family’s distribution business and has served as that company’s director of store development for the past five years. Mitchell said he was at work on developing a new store format called FreshTake but in Little Giant saw “a unique opportunity to be a part of a great family-owned business that’s stable, established, and has great people.”
All 175 current employees of the chain have been extended the opportunity to continue to work under the new parent company, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he planned to enhance each Little Giant location and improve the customer experience, including expanding variety across the store, adding fresh seafood, bulk foods and more grab-and-go options. Mitchell said he also plans to add a deli and bakery to all locations and expand the deli and bakery offerings in the Newnan locations.
Future plans include expanding the Little Giant Farmer’s Market chain across the metro Atlanta area, while bringing FreshTake, Mitchell’s newly imagined grocery store concept, to the area as well.