W.H. Koch Co., Inc. is the parent company and family operation of two grocery stores and four pharmacies. The grocery stores are located in Sweet Springs and Cameron, Missouri, and the pharmacies consist of a stand-alone facility in Marceline and Brunswick, Mo., as well as locations inside the Sweet Springs and Cameron grocery stores.

What became the W.H. Koch Co., Inc. began in October 1956 when Ralph and Evelyn Koch bought the Food Fair in Sweet Springs from Paul and Margie Hoffman. Nine years later, in October of 1965, the Kochs reached a lifelong dream when they constructed a new United Super store in Sweet Springs, which remains the current location today.

Second Generation In the early 1970s, their son Bill and his wife Phyllis became involved in the ownership of the business. Bill has worked in the store since January 1959, when he started bagging potatoes at age 11. In 1965, Bill became a meat cutter, a passion he still has today. In 1980, Bill and his wife Phyllis purchased the remainder of the ownership from Ralph and Evelyn. In 1982, Bill started an expansion of the present location in Sweet Springs, which doubled the store's size.

In October 1987, the Kochs bought another United Super store in Chillicothe, Mo. In October of 1992, the company purchased The South Town Shopping Center, where the store was located, and began the expansion of that location. Also, in 1992, the Sweet Springs location joined Piggly Wiggly Co. as a franchisee. In 1994, due to its great success as a Piggly Wiggly in Sweet Springs, the Chillicothe store also converted to a Piggly Wiggly. Bill served five years on the National Board of Directors of the Piggly Wiggly Operators Association, beginning in 1995 and culminating in 2000 when he served as its President.

Third Generation Bill and Phyllis' daughter, Ronni, and her husband, Tony Clark, started working full-time for the company after moving to Chillicothe in 1994. Ronni grew up in the store, working at the Sweet Springs location through high school. After receiving her BS in Accounting from Missouri State University and moving to Chillicothe, she now serves as Chief Financial Officer for the corporation. Tony started working for the Sweet Springs store when he was 16. In 1994, Ronni and Tony were married, and they moved to Chillicothe, where he began learning all facets of grocery operation. Tony now serves as Chief Operating Officer over all locations. In 2009, Ronni and Tony invested in the corporation, becoming shareholders. Their son Brett graduated from Chillicothe High School in 2016, and after attending Missouri State University and working in the grocery industry in Springfield, Brett joined the family business. He continued his grandfather's passion for the meat department, serving as Meat Manager for several years. He is now the Assistant Store Manager in the Cameron location. While learning all facets of grocery operations, he hopes to carry on the family tradition in the grocery industry and become a fourth-generation owner.

In October 2013, the company expanded to Cameron, Missouri, by purchasing the Country Mart grocery store. An immediate remodel was performed, which included new energy-efficient cases and lighting. A floral department was added as well a new salad bar and an expanded seating area for the deli/restaurant. After completing the remodel, the store was renamed The Cameron Market and provides the community with a hometown store, complete with a black and gold theme to tie in with the Cameron Dragons school colors.

The company is proud of maintaining long-term employees, as evidenced in Sweet Springs. The store is managed by Darla Reid, a 30+ year veteran who started her career with the company while in high school at the age of 16. Also, starting at 16 with the company is Carl Winston, perishable manager and market manager at Sweet Springs. Carl's career spans over 30+ years as well. Ted Bock, who has recently retired, had been a part of the company for over 40 years. Ted maintains his longtime association with the company. Bart Lawson has been with the company for over 10+ years as store manager at our Cameron location. Bart came to us with extensive grocery experience, including owning/operating stores in Kansas City. The pharmacist in charge at the Sweet Springs Pharmacy is Lisa Nichols, who served 14 years at a chain pharmacy before joining our staff in 2004. Kelly Malloy is the pharmacist in charge in Marceline and Brunswick locations and Jill Saunders is the pharmacist in charge in Cameron. The main goal, as with all the staff, is patient care. The company has truly been blessed with quality people, many of whom come from the towns they serve, and perhaps that is why they are so dedicated to customer service.

Today, the company is a member of Associated Wholesale Grocers of Kansas City, a grocery co-op enjoying positive growth even in difficult times. The effective leadership of AWG, bringing low-cost goods and the unique blend of company-trained and mega-corporate-trained personnel, has led to the steady growth and survival of W.H. Koch Co., Inc. Four generations of the Koch family working in the business are dedicated to continuing the tradition of service to their communities.