Super Pride leaves the B.E. 100s list at No. 67
Super Pride Markets, a Baltimore-based grocery store chain owned by a man whose career in the grocery business began as a stock clerk, closed in October even though the company once had $47 million in assets and ranked No. 14 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list.
Oscar A. Smith Jr., president and owner of Super Pride, operated eight stores in the Baltimore area. While Smith didn't return telephone calls regarding the closure, last year, he blamed his company's financial woes on urban flight, declining profitability, and competition from national supermarket chains.
But Maryland state officials tell somewhat of a different story. Last August, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development gave Smith a $15,000 grant to hire KMR Management Inc., a Philadelphia management consulting firm, to determine whether the 30-year-old chain could be saved.
"We thought that hiring a management consultant was the thing to do, but it was the management consultant's feeling that ail of the entities should close," said Tori Leonard, spokeswoman for the department.
While state aid couldn't save Super Pride, Leonard says this doesn't mean that other companies are doomed in a culture where mom-and-pop grocery stores...