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Dixie Lee a ‘family business’


Sam Taylor Jr. has owned Dixie Lee Liquors since 1992, and has seen the store expand, relocate and become a family business.

“My wife and I would probably have sold this after a few years, but a few of our children … they came to me and expressed an interest in moving this business forward,” Taylor said.

“So my wife and I decided to let them do that,” he added.

His daughter, Ellen Jones, said the motivation for her decision to keep the business was “pride, of wanting to continue a family-owned business, and just wanting to be a part of that.”

Taylor bought the liquor store with friend Carl Montgomery, whom he bought out when Montgomery retired and moved to Florida in 2000.


During Taylor’s ownership, the business moved from its original location in a former convenience store off Watt Road.

Taylor said Dixie Lee prides itself on carrying “everything that’s available in our market.

“I didn’t want someone coming into my store, looking for a product, and leaving, because I felt like if he went to another place, he might just … stay there,” Taylor said.

About 60 percent of his store is devoted to wines; “and we cover just about anything in spirits that you could ever want.”

Jones said new items were added through customer requests.

“We have customers who come in regularly and, if we don’t carry a product that’s available in the market, we will get it in for them,” Jones said.

Expertise is something Sam Taylor and his family pride themselves on.

“If you’re going to sell quality product, you have to know what you’re talking about,” Jones said, adding before any product is stocked in Dixie Lee, it is tasted and researched.

“It is something that requires training; it’s not something that you acquire,” Taylor said.

Most important to the family business, Jones and Taylor said, is customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

“None of us worked retail before we came here … the most important thing that mom and dad impressed upon us when we came here was customer service and customer loyalty,” Jones said.

“That’s something we take very seriously here. We have customers who know us like we’re their next-door neighbor.

“We know them by name; we know what product they want,” she added.

“That’s the lifeblood of our business here, our customers,” Jones said, adding the store’s Wednesday discount day for seniors was a way of treating loyal customers.

However, Taylor said no amount of discounts or specials replaces good service.

“We don’t have anything our competitors don’t have except people,” Taylor said.

“The only way we can be better than our competitors is with our help,” he added.

For more information, call the store at 865-966-5551.

 

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