History of the
Kretzer Wilkes grew up in Greene County, Georgia where his grandfather had a country store and his daddy had a meat market. It was there as a young boy that he learned the basics of cutting meat.
Kretzer began his career in Atlanta, Georgia as a counter clerk at the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P) and quickly rose through the ranks to Journeyman. His tenure at A&P was interrupted by WWII where he served the country as a Mess Sergeant in the United States Army Air Force stationed at Gunter Field in Alabama and was responsible for feeding five thousand soldiers.
After the war, Kretzer returned to Atlanta and A&P and became a Meat Artist and was promoted to Market Manager. In 1958, he was promoted again to Meat Supervisor serving stores in Georgia and Tennessee. In addition to his supervisory responsibilities in over 20 markets, he was also the meat buyer for the stores.
In 1974, Kretzer took early retirement and joined his brother Russell, and his sister Helen Landers, in the operation of Landers and Wilkes located on Cooledge Road in Tucker, Georgia. Kretzer later purchased the store and changed the name to Wilkes Supermarket of Tucker. Through the years, a number of stores were opened throughout Dekalb, Gwinnett, and Forsyth Counties. Occasionally, the name changed and locations changed, but the commitment to providing the highest quality meat at the best prices remained the Wilkes guiding principle, the same guiding principle that drives his son Ronnie and his wife Cathy to this very day.
To say that Ronnie Wilkes ‘cut his teeth’ on meat is an understatement. At the tender age of 14, Ronnie joined his father, Kretzer Wilkes, at A & P. Although Ronnie started off bagging groceries, it wasn’t long before his hard work and strong work ethic were noticed. Under his father’s guidance, Ronnie started learning how to buy and cut meat and by the time he was 21, it was clear that Ronnie was destined to be in the meat business. He was promoted to Assistant Meat Buyer at the A&P store and by the time Ronnie was 27 years old he had honed his craft and had become a real artist with the meat he handled. He left A&P and joined his father at the family’s first store in Tucker, Georgia. Over the next twenty years, Ronnie opened and operated several very successful stores on his own and became well known around the region as a top notch meat man. Ronnie and Cathy opened their current store in Braselton in 2021 and is enjoying being a part of and serving this amazing community. At any time you may see our Children and Grandchildren at our store, that is why we are called The Wilkes Tradition.