Back in 1948 two Dallas friends with family roots in the grocery business became intrigued with a new shopping concept. The men were J.R. Bost and Bob Cullum. The new concept was called "supermarkets". Together they bought a small local chain and for the first few years worked nights and weekends to upgrade the selection, quality and overall shopping experience.
As Dallas boomed during the 1950s and its suburban limits expanded, so did Tom Thumb. The marketplace was fiercely competitive. But by leveraging its local advantage, it prospered and by 1956 had grown to 20 stores. Tom Thumb was well on its way to becoming a major regional chain. Bob Cullum was a tireless innovator, especially in offering non-food items such as housewares and health and beauty products. Construction of new, larger stores and purchases of small chains, continued non-stop.
From 1950-66 Tom Thumb doubled its sales volume. They bought the gourmet specialty Simon David stores, 34 Hinky Dinky stores in the Midwest, even 17 Pantry Food Markets in California. Easily the most impactful move was the addition of Page Drugs. It signaled a new direction for Tom Thumb, combining food and drug in one store. It worked spectacularly. By 1974 sales had reached half a billion dollars. In 1992 Jack Evans merged the Tom Thumb operations with those of a longtime colleague, Robert Onstead of Randall’s.
In 2015, our parent company, AB Acquisition LLC, completed a transaction with Safeway that included Tom Thumb stores. Today, as part of the company’s Southern division, Tom Thumb operates nearly 60 stores as part of the Albertsons Southern Division in North Texas.