Peabody told George "You was not only watched by your manager. I was watching you as well." George was in shock. The founder of the chain was watching him. That sparked a conversation. The two walked to the bar of the building. He, Hussle and Peabody talked. As they talked and disturbing news was revealed. That manager that fell ill passed away. Peabody wanted him to fill the role permanently. George expressed his condolences first. Soon after, it was his gratitude and that he was a huge fan. Unfortunately, he said “With all due respect sir, I will decline.” He turned the offer down for the real estate opportunity. Peabody heard he was into real estate. He thought that he could change his mind himself. Peabody also knew George was better in the grocery business. Before leaving George said "It was a pleasure meeting you sir." Soon after the two departed. Before it Peabody assured him that he has a place if he would return. George walked towards his car. Hussle walked him to it.
By this time, George was thinking. Hussle spoke to Peabody like he knew him and Peabody said thank you. That was strange to George. Hussle came to the car right before he got in and said “Nice seeing you again. Our families were born and raised in Harris. We were frequent visitors in the prince store. I was always with them. I was a kid but I saw your work.” As George was prepared to leave, Hussle gave him a reminder. “Real Estate is not you. Peabody is right. You are a grocery guy. You always looked uncomfortable in that store. I went into real estate because I wanted more just like you. You are into real estate but I don’t think you want in this industry.” After that, George suspected something else. He suspected that Hussle may have had something to do with him meeting Peabody. Hussle felt it and came clean. He said "Peabody knew you were coming. I told him I knew you and could get you here. Have a safe trip buddy. " George rode off smiling and said "Thank You."
As he drove towards the freeway he thought about it. Once he got on the freeway, his reluctance was strong. Real Estate he wanted. He loved what Peabody said. Meeting him is what he loved the most. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to change his mind. Before getting to Miami a list of unfortunate events occurred. He took a rest stop in West Palm Beach, FL. There he found that the real estate market burst. It was not long before he realized that Real estate was in bad shape. Around the same time, Wall Street crashed as well. The great depression was near and so were great things. George got off the freeway and turned around the car. He was no longer reluctant. He called his boss and told him he resigned. He headed back to Tampa.
George found out more devastating news. His parents were killed in a car crash. At that moment, he decides to continue the legacy. There are no more signs that he needed. He was in route back to Tampa already. This was just motivation. Peabody said that he could start immediately as the store manager. Once settled in, he did just that. After a month, his sales increased in that area store. He was offered the same position in Winter Haven, Fl. That was the company’s largest store. He had the exact same success there. Despite it all, Peabody was selling the chain. George later found that he already did. It was sold to a businessman in Atlanta, GA. George wanted to talk to the new owner. He attempted to do so at his Atlanta office. Sadly, he drove there to be very disappointed. The new owner refused to speak to him. George knew that he was available. It was a setback but he was going to comeback stronger.
The Great Depression
Despite the disappointment, George wasn't discouraged. Even in the midst of the great depression, he remained positive. He refused to think of the real estate market or wall street crashing. Instead he saw it as an opportunity. To him the timing was great. He saved much as well. It wouldn't be much today but it was back than. As he drove back to Winter Haven, he came up with a strategy. He bought 30 shares of a local supermarket. Each share was valued at $100. Seventeen of the shares were used and the rest he kept. A few friends and superiors purchased what he had. What he raised in doing so was significant during that time. With that money he purchased his own store and named it Quality Store.
After one store he purchased another. George had two stores. In the first was all he needed. He and five employees competed directly with his former workplace. Piggly Wiggly took notice. They did numerous things to compete and be steadfast in power. George noticed it all. It Is a challenge competing with a big food corporation but they did. In a year that Piggly Wiggly was closed. The economy got better and so did his store. He opened the other within five years. That store had more employees and products to offer. They were both successful but he was forced to close the stores. Despite their closure, expansion was near. What wasn't super, he was about to make it.
© 2022 Ryan Jarvis Cornelius