Small grocers and general stores once supplied Warren County with staples and fancy goods including tea, coffee and spices. Woodburn in 1876 supported three grocers; ten years later Bowling Green residents frequented twenty-eight. In 1922 seven of the seventy-four Bowling Green grocers were African-American. Only grocers like Ervin G. Houchens, who adopted modern retailing practices, survived the movement of regional and national grocery chains into southcentral Kentucky.
Covella Coffee, named for Ervin Houchen's daughter, was the first product the grocery sold under its own label.
Warren County, Kentucky, Grocers