The Country Boy was born in the spring of 1969. I was 9 years old and my brother Michael was 14. A local artist took a picture of the two of us. He then combined our features into the drawing which gave birth to the Country Boy.
Smoky Mountain Grocery got started with the idea that we could help to make your stay in the Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Pigeon Forge area an enjoyable one.
I first came to East Tennessee in 1965 when my parents, Dorman and Barbara Bowers (pictured below), moved our family here from Edwardsburg, Michigan. Although I was only 5 years old at the time, I knew this was the place I wanted to be. We left Tennessee in 1968 and even though we have visited every year since, the opportunity to live here provided a much-needed service that never presented itself… until now.
We always had to go out and shop for groceries instead of just enjoying our vacation. Finding a grocery store in a town we didn’t live in wasn’t always easy!! When we finally decided to relocate here, it only seemed natural to provide this service to an area we loved!
I have been in the grocery business all of my life. I was raised with my parents buying the first of two grocery stores in 1956 (pictured below) before getting into the restaurant business (Country Boy Drive-Ins of Elkhart Indiana) several years later. In 1989, I began working with the Kroger company; after doing that for several years, I left to work for HEB (the largest grocery chain in Texas). I finally ended up on the vendor side, spending the last 11 years with the Frito Lay company. (Jack Putnam, thanks for the opportunity and for giving me the skills to succeed!!). You told me every day, “Bowers, go out and sell something”. You can bet I will.
Once my wife and I decided to pack up the kids and head north to Tennessee, having a business plan figured out, and knowing my dad (who I lost in 1992) would have been proud of the idea, Smoky Mountain Grocery evolved into what it is today. I hope you are able to enjoy the mountains we have grown to love with a comfort in knowing that your grocery needs will be taken care of! Just give us a ‘peak’!