CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

April 9, 2013

Food World to be rebranded as Belle Foods

Labor discussions continue for southern grocery brand

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

— After changing hands twice in recent years, the Food World grocery store in Cullman will be rebranded soon by new owner Belle Foods.

Food World, located in the Cullman Shopping Center, is one of 57 locations purchased by Belle Foods last year. The new Birmingham-based company was formed to take ownership of the stores.

The company has confirmed Food World will soon take on the Belle Foods moniker, which will be reflected with some signage changes and minor renovations. The interior and exterior transition should begin later this year.

Though the sign on the door may change, Belle Foods spokesperson Chris Strickland said local shoppers should still expect to find the same locally-focused atmosphere inside the long-time downtown business.

“One thing that’s definitely different about us, versus the other companies that have owned these chains in the past, is we are a family-run operation,” he said. “That’s one thing our employees, as well as customers, have expressed a lot of gratitude about.”

Later this month, the local store will also begin participating in more Belle Foods promotions, including a new service to provide additional product information and recipes online.

“We’re launching a new campaign in the meat market, and we’ll have in-store signage and packaging information for beef and pork products,”  Strickland said. “Customers can use smartphones with a QR scanner, which will take them to a website that explains the different cuts of meat, how to prepare it, and provides recipes.”

Another change that could be in the works is the ratio of full-time to part-time employees at each store, though company officials are reportedly still in talks with union officials at this time. The extent of the change, and the amount of employees that could be affected, is currently unknown.

“We have no information on that just yet, but that will change in the coming days,” Strickland said.

Before Belle Foods stepped in to buy the shop, Southern Family Markets had owned the grocery store for four years after picking up several locations following Bruno’s Supermarkets bankruptcy liquidation.

The sale includes stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, and include chains such as Food World, Piggly Wiggly, Bruno’s, and Southern Family Markets.



Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.