In 1951, Ward’s Supermarket started as an open-air stand with dirt floors and chicken-wire frame doors on 6th Street just around the corner from the current store. They sold pecans and any other local produce they could get their hands on! From there, a few items at a time, the store kept growing until eventually they built a real store to move into on that lot, complete with refrigerated cases.
Next door to this store was a Gainesville landmark, called Doug’s Dairy Twirl. It was here that the Wards’ son Billy met a lovely local girl named Trish. She came to work for the Wards at their store shortly thereafter, and soon she and Billy married. The store flourished under the care of the family and as the family grew, so did the business.
In 1991, Ward’s Supermarket expanded once again, moving around the corner to its current location. Between extra hours put in by the staff and lots of effort from friends, vendors, and community members, Ward’s closed only one day while transitioning between stores. The extra space in the new building allowed for the variety of products to expand; this was the beginning of the Natural Foods Department and the Wine Department.
Today, Ward’s is still a family owned and operated business, with at least five members of the Ward family employed at the store. Billy and Trish are retired now, and the next generation of Wards is in charge. Their son, Bryan, runs the Meat Department and their daughter, Danielle, is the Store Manager. In retirement, Trish enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, and Billy stays busy growing hay and beef, which can be purchased from Ward’s Supermarket- Gainesville’s Only Independent Family Owned & Operated Grocery Store!
At Ward’s, it’s not just about people coming to get groceries – it’s personal. Whether it’s a vendor, an employee, or a customer, we view everyone as part of our family. And like family members, we want the best for everyone.
That’s why Ward’s is committed to buying local. We want our vendors to succeed and our customers to have the lowest farm-to-table time possible. Everyone at Ward’s is very friendly, and everything we sell is high quality.
We hope to see you come by the store and meet our family!