Stay True to Your Core Values
By Roger Lowe Jr., BBA ’91
Vice President and Chief Executive Officer
I was raised working in our family grocery business sweeping parking lots and bagging groceries. After high school, two awesome events occurred in my life: I attended Baylor University, and I met my beautiful wife Julie. After graduating from Baylor, I joined our family grocery store business and worked in numerous positions and locations within our company before moving back to West Texas.
Our family grocery business has a rich history that can be traced back to the late 1940s when my grandfather, E.M. (Bud) Lowe, started his career selling candy and sundries with only one truck distributing throughout our hometown of Littlefield, Texas. My Granddad, Bud Lowe and my Dad, Roger Sr., founded our family of grocery stores on the principle of taking care of the community, their teammates and their families. The simple philosophy that our company was founded upon still continues today and that philosophy has allowed our once small, “mom and pop” style grocery store to grow from its humble beginnings to 152 stores covering the entire states of Texas and New Mexico, with additional locations in Colorado, Kansas and Arizona.
Family and Christian values are at the core of our existence and those values guide the decisions that have helped keep our company strong since 1964. Several years ago, we developed a logo that is a good summary of our core values. The logo consists of three letters (G, F, G) intermingled together, and those three letters summarize the priorities of our company in the proper order of priority.
1. God—Being raised in a Christian home by Godly parents was a true blessing for me. The privilege of attending the world’s largest Baptist-affiliated institution of higher learning also had a profound impact on my life. Many organizations seek to keep God as their first priority, but the demands and distractions of life make this a difficult task. I don’t think it is any accident that the very first of the Ten Commandments states we should have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). Our GFG logo correctly lists God as our first priority. We don’t beat you over the head with our beliefs, but we do strive to put God first in everything we do and keep Him in his rightful place, knowing that He is the real reason for our success.
2. Family—We are blessed with great employees and we fondly refer to them as teammates. We value our teammates and consider them part of our family. Vince Lombardi said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” We know this saying to be true. The majority of my time at work is spent communicating and connecting with our teammates. I know there is no better way to spend my time than with our valuable teammates.
3. Groceries—We realized a long time ago that you cannot take a cookie-cutter approach to the supermarket business. Focusing on the needs of each store location’s customer base has helped shape our company into one of the most diverse companies in the supermarket industry. We operate under many different banners to meet the needs of the diverse neighborhoods in which we operate. The specific needs of each neighborhood guide our decisionmaking processes for everything, including store layout and the products offered.
As a company, we must hold unswervingly to our core values while being flexible in meeting the diverse needs of the changing world and our customers. The motto of Baylor University that I learned many years ago, Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana, serves as a great reminder that we exist to serve both God and the world. Our family grocery business provides me the opportunity to do just that every single day.
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2019