Faith and family guide business success for Warehouse Market
You might not know his name, but if you have lived in Tulsa for any amount of time you most certainly know the name of the store that has been a favorite of local shoppers for nearly eight decades. Clint Cox is the patriarch of a grocery dynasty that goes back more than 110 years, and which since 1938 has operated proudly as Warehouse Market.
“My great grandfather started a grocery store in Hennessee, Oklahoma back in 1906,” Cox recalled during a recent visit with La Semana. “His son Clint Cox later started Cox Cash stores in Little Rock, then Warehouse Market was opened here in 1938.”
Cox came in to the business in 1968, and now his son, Christian Cox, who joined the company three years ago, represents the fifth generation to continue the family business and its tradition of providing quality goods in clean stores at reasonable prices.
Cox is a man of deep faith, which guides him in his personal life and in his work. For Cox, God comes first, family comes second, and business comes third.
“Family is where you have to be there for each other when you’re needed,” he observed. “Having a family business is a plus, but also it’s challenging. But we have good family and they’ve all been very supportive.”
Cox believes that while there are no easy answers to winning in business, there are a few simple rules of thumb to remember.
“The key to being successful is managing your expenses and giving the customer what they want, when they want it,” he said.
Throughout the ups and downs of running a company through good and bad economic times, Cox said it’s important to keep a level head and be true to your core principles.
“The most difficult thing for all of us in business is patience,” Cox said, “and to stay calm and cool during challenging times, to try to use common sense and to treat people under the golden rule, as you would want to be treated yourself.”
Many of Warehouse Market’s employees – like many of the store’s customers – are Hispanics, and Cox feels blessed by them all.
“I have a lot of respect for the culture of the Hispanic worker,” he said. “They’re family oriented and a lot of them go to church. They’re very honest and they’re hard workers.”
Asked about the growing number of Hispanic owned supermarkets that create more competition, Cox said they are excellent stores that provide a variety of items presented in a way that focuses on the cultural roots of their customers, from the different types of food sold to the music played.
But the competition doesn’t worry him.
“The only thing to be feared is when you’re not sure of yourself. If you’re sure of yourself and you have a belief in God, then God will take care of everything.”
Future plans “are in God’s hands. It’s His plan, we just need to listen.” For now this means a new brand of markets called Cox Cash Saver stores, “which we think will be the future.”
A promoter of immigration reform, Cox said, “I admire the Hispanic families and I wish that more other cultures were like Hispanics. We’d be a better place today. They set the standard.”
Cox concluded as be began, with an emphasis on listening to God.
“Show kindness to everyone and show kindness to anyone you run onto on the street that maybe is struggling,” Cox urged. “We’re all God’s people and if we believe in God we’re all equal under the eyes of God and we’ll all see each other in heaven.” (La Semana)