Faith and fam­ily guide business suc­cess for Ware­house Market

La Semana - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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“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)

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