Clarksville, TN – It’s a sad reality in our society. “Mom and Pop” stores of every kind are struggling to keep their doors open against their big box competitors. One store that is bucking this trend is the Hilltop CB Supermarket at 400 Highway 149. This locally owned and operated grocery store still has freshly butchered meat daily and runs sales that make it worth driving the extra few miles to take advantage of.
Wayne Hall opened the original Hilltop Supermarket, in a 5,000 square-feet building, across the street from its current location in 1967. In 1990, when the new store (then 12,000 square feet) opened where it now stands, Mr. Hall convinced his brother-in-law, Mike Jackson, to become store manager. Mike is still handling the day-to-day operations for the store which provides 50 jobs to the local economy.
In 1995, the building was expanded to 24,500 square feet with not only groceries and fresh meat, but a deli, bakery, and a country food hot bar. One of their specialties is farm fresh smoked sausage which is available from Thanksgiving to Easter—yum! They also sell whole country hams that they are willing to slice for you, if you wish.
You can shop at the Hilltop Supermarket Monday through Saturday from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. They have a community bill payment center; where you can buy stamps, money orders, send a Western Union message, or pay your CEMC and Charter bills. The store also features a Cumberland Bank & Trust branch for all of your banking needs. Their Deli offers a catering service, and can provide food for events ranging from 25 to 500 people.
The store is super clean grocery store that prides itself not only on the high quality of its offerings, but also serving the community in as many ways as possible.
A big supporter of education, at the front of the store are boxes where parents and friends of schools “on this side of the river” can place their receipts. At the end of the school year, all these receipts are counted. The Hilltop Supermarket partners with a company that provides the school with equipment (equal to the total amount of the receipts) like new computers, cameras, and all types of school supplies. They also host a Fall Festival to raise money for Montgomery Central’s sports programs. Each team including the cheerleaders and other groups can set up a booth on the grass lot in from of the store. All of the proceeds they raise go to the team or group holding the sale.
Hilltop Supermarket has community events throughout the year. Coming up soon will be the sixteenth annual Easter Egg Hunt for 350 to 400 kids. “We have everything furnished by our store and other local venders; there are 200 to 300 toy prizes,” Mike Jackson reports. “The grand prize is always something like a bicycle or basketball goal. It’s a big event and the kids have a great time.”
In May they play host to a KC-style Barbecue Cook-off. Now in its third year, it is being expanded to include not only chicken and ribs but beef brisket and pulled pork barbecue. A car show will begin on Friday night as the barbecue specialists arrive and get set up. On Friday night, the Bud Lite and Miller Lite folks are going to compete to see who has the best barbecue. Saturday features the other competitors and you can get in on the tasting! Local politicians, police officers, and even Mark Haynes, owner of Clarksville Online and Discover Clarksville—have served as judges for the barbecue offerings!
From April to October, either on Friday or Sunday (still in the decision process as of this writing), the Hilltop Car Shows will take place the first week of the month. Come on out and see that fabulous car you’ve been remembering since your teenage years!
Over the years, many changes have taken place in the grocery business. Keeping up with technology is one of their biggest challenges, Mike admits. Security cameras are everywhere, of course, but most customers are the same families who have made Hilltop the superb business it is today.
“We pride ourselves on our fresh meat and low prices,” Mike Jackson claims. “Very few groceries butcher their own meat any more. We feel that this is important to our customers so that they can have safe and delicious meals. We have many families who shop with us—first the grandmother, then the mother and now the daughter.”
Evidence of that is the fact that more than 400 people have signed up at the Hilltop Supermarket’s web site at www.hilltopsupermarket.com to receive email on Monday mornings from the store with the specials for the week. You too can sign up, find out the sale, load up your coolers and head on over to the Hilltop CB.
You’ll be glad you did.