Whether you’re a regular shopper or you don’t like to get out much, chances are you’re still familiar with some of modern day’s booming retail, both clothing-and-food-oriented. Here are 8 stores that are dedicated to their Christian faith (and facts about the stores you may not know, too).
Hobby Lobby was founded in 1970 when David and Barbara Green stepped out in faith and acquired a loan of $600. Initially, they wanted to make picture frames out of their home, but after two years, their little business expanded out into a 300-square-foot building in Oklahoma City. This chain continues to be privately owned with more than 750 stores in 47 of the 50 states. Now, the store is equipped with all the supplies you’d need for any occasion: arts-and-crafts, jewelry kits, floral and wedding, home decor, card and party, holiday, and more. Affiliated stores include Hemispheres which is a store that carries “unique home furnishings and accessories from around the world” and Mardel Christian and Education Supply which offers up Bibles, church and school supplies, books, and homeschooling curriculum.
One of Hobby Lobby’s focuses is “providing a return on the family’s investment, sharing the Lord’s blessings with our employees, and investing in our community.” Dedicating themselves to this proclamation, the Greens have chosen a handful of charities and organizations to donate to and support. They also give discounts to “churches, schools, and national charitable organizations.”
Fun Fact: Hobby Lobby has office locations in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Yiwu, China.
Tyson Foods began its journey during a financially unstable time: The Great Depression. In 1931, John W. Tyson moved with his wife and son to Springdale, Arkansas, hoping to find a fresh slate. Instead, he found thousands of chickens that he decided to take to market in the Midwest. When poultry met high-demand in the 1940s due to World War II, Tyson went along, raising chicks of his own and producing chicken feed for nearby farmers. Don Tyson, at the age of 22, joined his father on the front lines of the business. Tyson Foods became public in 1963. Over the years, the company has continued to grow and flourish. As of 2017, Tyson Foods is the second-highest producer of chicken annually, and John H. Tyson, son of Don and grandson of John W. Tyson, sits as Chairman of the Board.
Among the core values, Tyson Foods “strive[s] to be a faith-friendly company” and “to honor God and be respectful of each other, [their] customers, and other stakeholders.” Grandparents.com disclosed that the company offers all employees “counseling services from the in-house Chaplaincy Program, which represents a variety of religious faith backgrounds,” showing that Tyson Foods is indeed living up to its standards.
It may come as a surprise to some that Altar’d State was founded by two men, Brian Mason and Aaron Walters. The two originally met in Knoxville, Tennessee at a clothing chain in 2007 which led to a solid bond and partnership. In January 2009, their employer had to file bankruptcy, but they wanted to stick together and continue working. When none of their plans manifested, they went their own ways. In April of that same year, Mason and Walters met back up in Bentonville, Arkansas where they laid out developmental ideas for a modern-day Christian shopping experience.
Naturally, the first store opened in Knoxville, Tennessee as a retail store and coffee shop in November 2009. Locals were very supportive, success was met, and dreams grew. April 2010 brought a market opportunity to add in fashion apparel, jewelry, and accessories. With 5 employees on board, a market trip shifted the direction of retail in July 2010. By November 2010, Altar’d State officially became a women’s boutique, planting a second store in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, there are 70 boutiques in 23 states.
The Mission Statement of Altar’d State–“Serving as an inspiration, empowering others by giving more than we receive, we stand out for good to glorify God”—is kept well-intact. When you walk into the store, there is an immediate ambiance of coziness, community, confidence, and most importantly, Christ. From the modest yet adorable apparel to the home decor and extras, everything conveys a strong message of faith, hope, and love. Even the dressing room signs state, “You’re beautiful” and “Jesus loves you!” People are even encouraged to leave prayer requests in the store and online.
Cook Out was established in 1989 in Greensboro, North Carolina and has since spread to nine other states with multiple locations in various cities. Possibly one of the smartest choices the company made was nestling two of its restaurants in Athens, Georgia, a college town and home of the Bulldogs. With over 40 flavors of milkshakes and delicious but affordable food, Cook Out is often slammed, especially on any given weekend. What’s cool and unique about their stores is the Christian undertone. Assorted cups each have individual scripture verses (John 3:16, Proverbs 1:7, and Psalm 118:24), and Christian music can be heard over the radio.
While Cook Out offers very little information about its history, TheOdysseyOnline.com reported that one of the company’s opening directors stated, “In the family, there’s a lot of Christian influence, and they grew up in the South. It just kind of seemed natural. We’ve got scriptures on our cups and on the bags from the family scriptures that they like. It just kind of stood out to them.” Thanks to the founding family, thousands of people will get the chance to read from the Word of God and come to know the Savior they hear about in the restaurant.
Stay tuned for the second half of “8 Brands Dedicated to Their Christian Faith!”
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