Tennessee towns few and far between that have been able to hold on to
some vestiges of the past, and the Gleason Superette is just one of
those special gems. Nestled in the heart of Gleason on Front Street is
a grocery specializing in a full line of groceries, drinks, and some of
the best homemade sandwiches you will ever taste. In addition, this one
stop shopping, family-owned store also specializes in warm and caring
smiles, genuine hearts, pleasant conversation, and top notch integrity.
The joyful spirit of the” Morris family” has served the citizens of
Gleason since 1936 and has helped to make our downtown such a special
and wonderful place to trade and do business.
The Superette, U-Tote-Em,
or Thomas’s, as many so fondly call our hometown grocery, is a vital
community legacy serving the school, our churches, and the community at
every opportunity. What a joy it is to see students of all ages, candy
and carbonated beverages in hand, resting lazily about the concrete
steps of this beloved store! The feeling of security and happiness on
their faces after a long athletic practice or during the dog days of
summer is priceless. The Gleason Superette has stood the test of time
becoming quite an institution in itself as a result of the dedication,
persistence, and kindness of three generations of the Morris family.
The family runs the business with one hand in yesteryear and another in
the present. They still allow their customers the rather convenient and
historical service of purchasing items “on the tab” meaning that
customers come in once a month to pay their bill.
The history of service to
the citizens of Gleason began in 1936, the year Hughlon Morris began
working for the U-Tote-Em Grocery Company which was founded in the early
1930’s by Mr. Glenn King and Mr. Ben Everett of McKenzie, TN. This
chain comprised approximately forty stores that stretched across West
Tennessee and West Kentucky. In 1956, Mr. Hughlon and his wife Georgie
bought the Gleason store which provided the ideal opportunity for their
son Thomas to join the business in 1960 after his successful career with
the Kroger Company in Union City, TN. Upon Mr. Hughlon’s retirement in
1965, Thomas and his wife Joyce purchased the store and changed the name
to the Gleason Superette. Their three children, Mike, Laurie, and
Steve, grew up sacking groceries, greeting the public, and likewise
serving the community they lovingly called home. From 1965 until 1998,
Thomas and Joyce operated this business and made it a family affair.
Mike and Laurie took over ownership from their parents while son Steve
obtained a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Roles slightly
changed as Thomas and Joyce joyfully helped their children run the
business until Thomas passed away in 2005, leaving a void in the hearts
of many. This man of kindness, humility, honor, and professionalism
left a lifelong legacy that will always be felt when you walk in the
doors of this establishment. Today it is a joy to walk in and see Joyce
carry on his legacy of service to her family and her community. She
provides expertise in dealing with the public and offers that caring
word that makes your trip to the grocery store so much more than just a
Everyone in the town of
Gleason and surrounding areas has his or her own favorite story to tell
of the patronage provided by this amazing family. Delivering groceries
to shut-ins, those without transportation, or those who are just
experiencing hard times are just a few of the daily services provided by
Mike, Laurie and their family. I guess that is where the word “SUPER”
comes from in the name of this store. Serving the public has been and
always will be an honor and a privilege for them. Their impact and
influence is far-reaching on old and young alike. When you are visiting
Gleason, be sure to stop in for some good conversation, and ice cold
Coke, or maybe even a delicious ham, turkey, or liver cheese sandwich.
Without a doubt, it will be time well spent as you make a new friend
while stocking your cabinets with grocery supplies for the week
(Story by Kay Hudson).
Gleason Superette - Mike, Joyce and Laurie Morris
Copyright © 2002 - 2015 GleasonOnline.comTM. All rights reserved.