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Dixie Lee Liquors & Wines ‘makes it legal’


Dixie Lee Liquors and Wines is “making it legal.”

The business turned 21 — the legal age for drinking — at the end of last year.

“We’ve been blessed, we really have,” owner Sam Taylor Sr. said.

He bought the store with business partner Carl Montgomery in 1989; Dixie Lee was incorporated in fall of 1988 under other ownership.

In 1990, the store moved to its current location from the original building only a few yards to the west, once a combined liquor store and convenience market.

“When we purchased this thing, it was an old wooden building almost directly across from Watt Road, where it comes into Kingston Pike. It not only was a liquor and wine store, it was also a convenient mart with a drive-thru window.

“We kept that part of the business for 30 days, and we shut it down promptly,” Taylor said.


In 2000, Montgomery sold his half of the business to Taylor and his wife, Linda; and since then, the store has been a family business.

“I would have sold this thing at [age] 65, but three of my children came to me and said they wanted to be part of it.

“I wanted to enjoy retirement,” Taylor laughed.

Three of the Taylor’s children, Sam Jr., Ellen and Melanie, all are part owners and employees of Dixie Lee Liquors.

“We’ve seen the area grow tremendously in the 20 years we’ve been here. Farragut has grown, particularly going west. Loudon County has grown, coming east from Lenoir City,” Taylor said.

“Over the years, we’ve had a road that’s come through. We lost part of our land on the west side, and they gave us more land on the east side.

“That’s not much of a change,” Taylor laughed.

Taylor said the best part of his business was the people.

“This is not a difficult business to run or learn. It’s not rocket science, by any means. … We don’t sell anything [other stores] don’t sell, and our prices are not all that better than theirs, or theirs better than ours.

“We’re nice to people and make them feel welcome, and I think that means a lot to people. … That’s something we insist on: being nice to people,” Taylor said.

“You have to be nice to people. They’re your customers: that’s the best asset you have.

“We try to be extremely fair to customers … we think that’s a good thing to do,” he added.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate here,” Taylor said.

Out of that, Taylor and the business donate to local charities frequently, but said they consider it important their name not be attached to most donations, especially any involving children.

“I’ve raised four children, and my children have raised a bunch of grandchildren, so we know how hard that is in today’s time. You don’t need anybody to distract them,” Taylor said.

Dixie Lee Liquors and Wine, 13044 Kingston Pike, is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is closed Sundays.

For more information, call the store at 865-966-5551, or visit www.dixieleeliquors.com.

 

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