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Sports and music were what lit up Steve Edwards Jr. in high school and college. “Never in a million years” was he going into the grocery business that his grandfather founded in 1959.
But an internship with Sony Music in Nashville, Tennessee, left him pessimistic about the music industry, and sports, well, “There’s a reason why all the boys that age want to do that.”
Shortly before he finished his marketing degree at the University of Arkansas in 2018, his father called from Marianna with a request. GES, the parent company of Edwards Food Giant and Edwards Cash Saver, needed someone to take on the job of setting up the stores to receive and fulfill online orders and the loyalty card program that is associated with online shopping.
His work was recognized by the Associated Wholesale Grocers as the Outstanding Marketing Campaign of 2019. And the timing was better than anyone realized barely a year and a half before a pandemic would change retailing.
“I didn’t realize how much I was needed,” Edwards says now. “It’s been a great sense of accomplishment, and I’m honored to be part of a company that is able to stay ahead of industry trends.”