Jacquie Litton Brokers Sale of Midway IGA
New Owners Receive Warm Welcome from Community
By Ralphine Major
It looked the same. It even felt the same when I walked inside even though I knew behind the scenes, something had changed. I was at the Midway IGA grocery store in the Gibbs Community on the day it officially changed hands. It was truly a historic moment in our rural community. On July 4, 1988, Joe and Dale Longmire purchased the original IGA that was located near Harbison’s Crossroads at the intersection of Tazewell Pike and Emory Road where Home Federal now stands. In 1997 the Longmire brothers built the current IGA store as well as the entire Gibbs Center located just a short distance down Tazewell Pike.
The Longmire brothers grew up in the grocery store business. Their parents ran Longmire’s Grocery in the heart of Corryton for 35 years. The Gopal brothers, Haven and Neal, grew up in Bristol, Virginia. They followed in their parents’ footsteps working in the hotel business. February 21, 2023, marked the start of a new chapter for the two brothers from Corryton and the two brothers from Bristol. The common thread linking them was a community grocery store. The person responsible for orchestrating a deal connecting the Longmires and Gopals is longtime Knox Realtor Jacquie Litton who has been negotiating real estate deals since graduating from The University of Tennessee. But her qualifications go far beyond a degree. Jacquie Litton cultivates relationships with clients. Her connections with the Longmire family began early in life. Joe Longmire’s wife, Becky, was Jacquie’s seventh grade teacher at Gibbs. As a youngster, Jacquie would ride her bicycle to House Mountain Market on Washington Pike which was the Longmire brothers’ first store. She and her husband, Barry, are members of the Corryton Community as well. Focus readers may recall that Barry Litton is the owner of the popular Litton’s Restaurant, a landmark establishment in Fountain City.
Jacquie knew both the Longmires and Haven. She put together an amazing deal that not only incorporated the obvious facts and figures of real estate transactions but also focused on values like “authenticity, fellowship, and community involvement” that have been such an important part of the IGA and Gibbs Community. As the page turns, a new chapter begins. Best wishes and many blessings go with the Longmire brothers in their well-deserved retirement. They will long be remembered after they leave the store. To the Gopal brothers—”Welcome to the Gibbs Community!” I was thrilled to hear the new owners say they were “excited to be in Gibbs and excited to keep the Longmire name and legacy going.” The community owes a huge “thank you” to Jacquie Litton for finding the right persons to continue the all-important legacy that the Longmires started at the IGA in Gibbs Center.
By the time I left the store, it was getting later in the afternoon. The sun would soon be setting on this day, a day that had brought huge changes to the local grocery store in our rural community. Yet, in a strange way, everything still seemed the same when I walked out of the IGA. The spirit of community was still there. Truly amazing!
Words of Faith: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (KJV).