Wayne Webb and Clay Knight have partnered to open Todd’s of Saltillo.
A new grocery store with an old name is going into a familiar spot this fall.
Todd’s of Saltillo is expected to open by November in the Center City Market where Save-A-Lot most recently had a location. Previously, the location was a Piggly Wiggly.
Todd’s Big Star owner Clay Knight has partnered with Wayne Webb to open Todd’s of Saltillo. They’ve been talking for months about the possibilities, and the interior of the store has been gutted and repainted in anticipation of equipment arriving in the next few weeks.
“I’ve been in the business all my life – my parents owned a grocery store in Amory and I grew up in it, even worked there while I was at ICC,” Webb said.
Webb also worked for the now-defunct Jitney Jungle for 12 years and later with Walmart for another nine years. He followed that with an 18-year career with Save-A-Lot, his most recent stop.
He declined an offer to move to St. Louis and left the company earlier this year, and that’s when he met with Knight about the possibilities of opening their own store in Saltillo.
“I’ve been in the grocery business all my life just like Clay has, and it was a good mutual agreement that we came together to do this,” Webb said. “It’s a good location, but it’s just been poorly managed and run. We really need the support of the Saltillo community, and it’s time that we have this open here.”
Todd’s Big Star has been in business for more than 60 years. James and Francis Todd bought a grocery store on Main Street in Tupelo from Joe Sharpe in 1952. Bob Knight and Danny Smith – who were employees of the Todd’s – bought the store from them in 1980 and kept the name. In 1991, the store moved it to 1400 W. Main St., where it more than doubled in size to 17,000 square feet.
In 2002, Knight and Smith bought Todd’s Okolona Food Center. Smith took full ownership of that store two years later and sold it in 2013. Bob Knight took full ownership of Todd’s Big Star in Tupelo in 2004, the same year Clay joined.
Smith died in March 2015, and Bob Knight died last month.
Clay said continuing the legacy of Todd’s and serving customers was important to him.
The deli will serve $5.99 lunch plates, and a separate door by the area, along with a cash-only register, will help move the lunchtime crowd a little faster.
The store will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, although during the winter months, the store will likely close at 8 p.m.
Online ordering and pickup will be put in place at the start of the year.
Meanwhile, applications to fill 25 to 35 positions are being accepted at the store, and Webb and Knight said they’re eager to open as soon as mid-October if everything is in place.
“I believe we’re going to do well,” Knight said.