A Store with a Heart – Alabama Southern Market

September 28, 2022

A couple of days after our interview, this great family was hit with an electrical issue that destroyed their freezers and stock. After 4 Months, they are FINALLY coming back, and we could not be more excited. Mark your calendars for October 1st and stop by to welcome back a Gardendale local favorite, Alabama Southern Market!

Above Photo credit goes to Mayor Stan Hogeland

2018 the Hodges follow their heart

Early in 2018, Bradley and Rachel Hodges were working and taking care of their family. Rachel grew up in Gardendale, Bradley was from Clanton, and after their marriage, they moved to the North Jefferson Area. Bradley was in construction, and Rachel was in office ministry, working for her church, when it came to their attention that Southern Market in Gardendale was closing out.

Feeling heartfelt to purchase the business, they discussed and prayed for several days before understanding they were being led to buy the store. The young couple left their jobs and put all their efforts into making Southern Market a success..

A Community-Focused Business

The idea was to make the business not only community-friendly but also a local ministry to offer help to the community, their neighbors, and those in need. The vision of opening the community-based store went from dream to reality in just three weeks.

The new Alabama Southern Market on 621 Decatur Highway was opened in November 2018. Keeping part of the name of the previous store, they added Alabama to make it their own.

Working hard to make the new venture successful, they poured time, energy, and love into their daily work. The customers quickly responded with praise and positive reviews for the new owners.

It is not usual to run into many of your neighbors and even previous Southern Market owners shopping at Alabama Southern Food.

Shopping, sharing life stories, chatting, sharing advice, and lots of friendly conversation surround the many different offers the store provides. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere makes the store feel like home. Crispitos, school pizza, eggs, milk, frozen vegetables, and high-caliber hand-cut steaks that would make any butcher jealous are just part of the inventory.

The Hodges want the business to be an asset to the community and love seeing the friendly faces of their customers.

Heart and Determination

In June of 2021, a horrible accident put Bradley out of commission for several months. His back was broken after he was hit by a car, and the injury made it difficult for him to function at 100 %.
His wife, Rachel, stepped up, took over the reins, and with a lot of support from their employees, the business prospered. Fortunately, Bradley is back to work and looks forward to seeing the business grow and moving forward.

On June 10th of, 2022, an electrical issue caused their freezers to go down. This caused them to lose all their stock. Determined to open back up, they put a plan in place, and with the prayers of friends and family, they are now ready to open on October 1st and get back to their vision of a community-based store.

We at NJP would like to suggest a stop by for quality food items or just a chat. See you there.


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