Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Shumpert family of Pelion, along with their managers and staff, were honored by the SC Senate Thursday for their service and dedication to the Pelion community and to the people of Lexington County over the past 125 years. The resolution was introduced by Senator Katrina Shealy of Red Bank, but was supported unanimously by the entire Lexington County delegation, and the full senate.
On May 20th, the Shumperts will celebrate their 125th year of doing business in the Pelion area of Lexington County with a celebration that will includes lots of giveaways and rolled back prices that will mimic the cost of grocery items from years ago. On May 17th, beginning at 7:45 a.m., as a part of the celebration, Frank Shumpert will give away a $125 grocery gift certificate on Good Morning Lexington County LIVE morning show which streams on The Lexington Ledger’s Facebook page at facebook.com/swlexledger.com.
Now, the fourth generation of Shumperts is working in the business that sells groceries and provides other much needed services to the small community of Pelion and the western portion of the county. Over the past 125 years, they have acted as the area’s only grocer, at times the bank, the hardware store, and even the feed and seed store. At one point in history the Shumpert’s family even ran a theater that showed movies when a drive to Columbia to see a show was impractical.
Daniel Frank "Mr. Frank" Shumpert,III is the current leader of the organization. He is known for his common-sense approach to business management. He has said many times he believes that for a small, independent grocery store to survive in the modern world of mega-stores and super chains, his family’s store would have to be cleaner, friendlier, and fresher. Every day he and his staff work hard to make that business model a reality.
The Shumperts have also been pioneers of the farm to table movement. He has been heavily involved in the purchase of farm land in the Pelion area and has partnered with both Sam and Andy Jackson of Jackson Brother’s Farm to grow much of the produce that sold at the IGA within a few miles of the Pelion store. It truly is picked, packed, and put on the shelves daily, often by noon of the day that it was picked in the fields.
Shumpert’s IGA also sells a large selection of Certified Angus Beef and has a butcher on staff every time that the doors are open. Certified Angus Beef meets a rigorous inspection and certification process that ensures that it’s a better quality than your standard grade of beef. All of these special products and services make Shumpert's a cut above the rest.
On Thursday morning, as the staff of the Senate read the resolution commending the Shumperts for the service, Senator Katrina Shealy, the senator who introduced the resolution, was surrounded by her colleagues from Lexington County’s delegation.. This included Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, Senator Ronnie Cromer, Senator Nikki Setzler, and Representative Kit Spires of the SC House, who were all on the floor of the senate. Spires crossed the lobby from the House to be a part of the presentation. All were in complete agreement that the Shumpert’s legacy was one of commitment to serving their community above all else, even profits.
In the gallery, Frank Shumpert was joined by his wife Beth, their oldest son Daniel Frank “Daniel” Shumpert, IV, Katherine Shumpert Sturkie, their granddaughter Olivia Sturkie, and their youngest son Phillip, who’s studying to be a pharmacist at USC. Their daughter Melissa couldn’t be with them because she wasn’t feeling well. She also works in the business as the corporate chef and meal planner.
From their staff, the company’s Vice President Sam Jackson was in the gallery, as was Shumpert’s IGA Store’s General Manager Stephen Simmons, a fixture in the community himself. Robert “Spanky” Matthews was there representing the W. Lee Flowers Company, the regional distributor for the IGA brand.
The family met in the anteroom of the Senate after the official presentation to pose for pictures. During that time, many other of South Carolina’s most influential leaders stopped to congratulate the Shumpert family. Most knew them well. Many outside of the Lexington delegation knew Frank Shumpert and his family, as well as their history of service. All were more than familiar with the tremendous impact that the family has had on the area over the past 125 years.
Shumpert's IGA can be found at 861 Pine Street in the town of Pelion, SC. To find out for yourself the difference between the family’s store and other grocery stores, go by any day of the week and see for yourself what a destination store really is.