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Once Upon a Time in Lubbock – Furr’s Supermarkets

In this installment of “Once Upon a Time in Lubbock,” I take a look back at Furr’s Supermarkets.

At one time there were really only two grocers in Lubbock: Furr’s and United. (Some might say Safeway, but remember Furr’s bought the local ones out in the 80s, so they don’t really count!)

CW Furr founded the chain in 1904. Roy Furr joined the company in 1923 in Amarillo, but moved to Lubbock in 1929. In the process, Furr acquired six stores, and that was the beginning of the Furr Food Stores.

26th and Boston - Credit: TTU SW Collection
26th and Boston – Credit: TTU SW Collection

The business expanded rapidly from the 40s to the 60s, and would expand to include Furr’s Cafeterias, Farm Pac Kitchens and more.

Roy Furr passed away in 1975 and it’s said that the business began a steep decline. In 1979, the supermarkets were purchased by a West German investment group and the cafeterias were sold to Kmart Corporation.

Even with the loss of local ownership, Furr’s did have the first bakery and deli in a supermarket in Lubbock at the 34th and Quaker location. (I had my first ‘Real Birthday Cake’ from this location, blue frosting and all!)

Credit: TTU SW Collection
34th and Quaker Credit: TTU SW Collection

And who could forget the Food Emporium? That was Market Street before there was Market Street.

By late 1999, Furr’s was in complete bankruptcy and ceased to exist in Lubbock. The Lubbock stores were bought out by Lowe’s.

My fondest memories were of the 34th & Quaker location. It was known as Furr’s Family Center — think, baby supercenter. In the 1980s, it became Furr’s Super 2000, which still kept a lot of general merchandise but added the bakery and deli. And finally, just Furr’s. That location is now a furniture store with a Family Dollar on one end and an antique store on the other.

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