13 Questions with Betsy Sammon
At the Lone Star Family Market time is of the essence. Business partners Betsy Sammon and Karen Davis were social workers for two decades before starting their own grocery store. It began with one store in Austin in 2004, but quickly grew to six from Roundrock to San Marcos. With one location in San Marcos, Sammon and Davis (and their third partner, Sammon’s brother, Michael) try to keep their stores as easily accessible for families in the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program as they can, always trying to think of new ways to cut down time at the store. (One of their Austin locations just installed a drive-thru window.)
Though the market can’t advertise as a WIC only store, after one step through the door it’s easy to see that that’s exactly what they are. Shoppers don’t have to worry about anything (unlike at other grocery stores where many different choices are in stock, but only certain brands fall under WIC) as workers behind the counter help every step of the way — right down to helping take the groceries out to the car.
WIC is a supplemental food program that started because of the high anemia rate in pregnant women that led to low birth rates in babies.
“It’s a nutrition-based program. WIC provides a prescription to mothers and children where babies will get formula and moms will get protein,” Davis said.
1. Where are you from?
We have three owners. Myself, Karen and my brother Michael. Michael and I are from Houston and Karen is from Palestine, TX. Michael went to Texas A&M - Galveston, Karen is from A&M and I went to college in San Marcos. We all connected because Karen and I had been best friends for a long time and Michael moved to Austin.