TGCSA 2021

From the left: Tommy Boone (manager Hendersonville CashSaver), Jim Beasley (manager Portland CashSaver), Mark Helms (manager Springfield HG Hill), William Lambert (manager Ashland City CashSaver), Cherri Means (owner S&C Foods Inc.), Jason Apple (manager Pleasant View HG Hill), Shane Means (operations manager S&C Foods Inc.) (Cherri’s Son), Lesley Spray (ATO/HR Director), Mark Cole (technical support), and Cliff Marshall (recently retired manager Pleasant View HG Hill) (Cherri’s brother). SUBMITTED

Recently, The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association (TGCSA) held its annual Convention and Expo event. At the convention, Cherri Means of Cash Saver in Portland and H.G. Hills in Springfield was honored with the Retailer of the Year Award.

Means was the first female retail operator to receive this award.

“I was very humbled. It was an honor. We’ve been involved with the association for a long time, my father was involved with it and my kids received scholarships from it. The award was a real big honor for me. I was proud to receive it,” said Means.

Means was born in Memphis, and her father was in the grocery business. While growing up, she worked for her father and went to college. She graduated from college in 1982 and then decided to continue working for her father.

The first store they bought together was Cash Saver in Portland. Along with Cash Saver, the family has owned the H.G. Hills for 23 years.

“We got started from that. We have five stores and are doing well,” said Means.

Means is on TGCSAs’ executive board, and she receives lobbying and scholarships from TGCSA.

After the presentation of the award, the convention also hosted a food show. The show featured the Coke company, the Pepsi company, wine, beer and all kinds of food. This event was for retailers and vendors to get together and complete buying operations.

“It was big this year because we didn’t have it during COVID. It was really great to be back out in front of everybody,” said Means.

According to Means, H.G. Hills was able to do a lot of networking with the companies and vendors. As a result, there will be plenty of new products in the store in the coming years.

Means shared her thoughts about working in the retail business through Cash Saver and H.G. Hills, “The thing I enjoy the most is getting out, working with the stores, meeting the people and providing a service to the community. We’re mostly in rural areas, so it’s important for us to be involved in the communities.”