Save-A-Lot Grocery Stores: Food for community growth “It’s the realization of a dream,” said Dwayne Goodwin,president and CEO of The Goodwin Group Holdings, of the success of his Save-A-Lot grocery stores. Under Goodwin’s leadership, this retail grocery small business has expanded from an initial store in West Union to a portfolio of four stores serving the state’s rural communities of West Union, Pickens, Laurens, and Union.
“We are proud and excited about our continued growth in the Upstate and about bringing Save-A-Lot’s high quality to budget-conscious, value-seeking families,” said Goodwin. “The economy is tough, and we’re here to help families save money on their groceries.”
A grocery executive for 24 years, Goodwin got his start with Red Food stores in Chattanooga as a bagger. It was not long before he was managing his first store for Red Food, and later for Bi-Lo when that Mauldin-based company purchased the Red Food chain. Bi-Lo moved Goodwin to Greenville where he served in multiple roles, most recently as a vice president in operations.
Before beginning his own private business venture, Goodwin sought the advice of SC SBDC business consultant, Ben Smith.
“I started with Ben six months prior to leaving my job with Bi-Lo. He looked at my business plan and was very positive about it,” Goodwin said. Smith assisted Goodwin in his efforts to design and launch a successful retail grocery by creating a financial model that validated the feasibility of his business plan to potential capital partners. Most recently, Smith helped assess and clarify Goodwin’s controlled growth strategy of market penetration that focuses on rural communities within a certain proximity to the base office.
“Every few months Ben calls up and asks if he can help me,” Goodwin said. “He says, ‘I’m here to make sure you’re successful.’ He’s a good partner to be able to go to and just ask questions about small business.”
Future plans include opening additional Save-A-Lot stores, but locations and timelines are yet to be determined.
“I don’t have a goal number of stores in mind,” said Goodwin. “The intent is not to just own a lot of stores, but to grow thoughtfully in locations throughout the Upstate that have a need and a market for what Save-A-Lot can bring to a community.”
Goodwin shared insight regarding his commitment to corporate social responsibility. “I’m proud of what we bring to a community when we open a store,” he said. “We bring new jobs and quality food at a great value while transforming unused real estate into thriving businesses. We create a lot of local economic impact. Each store opening creates roughly 30 new jobs.”
Goodwin stated that he intends to continue to seek Smith’s advice as he moves forward with the expansion of his Save-A-Lot enterprises. Goodwin said, “As a small business owner you go where you find value and I find value in my relationship with Ben and the SC Small Business Development Centers.”