After 100 Years, GIANT Company Still in the People Business

In 1937, David “D.J.” Javitch bought a store in Lewistown, PA, and named it the GIANT Food Shopping Center. The move expanded a two-man butcher shop, the Carlisle Meat Market, which Javitch opened in 1923.

Originally printed in the March 2024 issue of Produce Business.

Celebrating 100 years in 2023, The GIANT Company, headquartered in Carlisle, PA, continues to grow its legacy of supporting those who matter most to it: team members, customers, and the communities it serves.

“From our humble beginnings in 1923 as a two-man butcher shop to growing into a leading grocer, The GIANT Company connects families — whether it’s for special celebrations, quick meals on the go, or gathering for a weeknight dinner around the table,” says John Ruane, president, The GIANT Company.

In 1923, David “D.J.” Javitch opened the butcher shop and called it Carlisle Meat Market. In 1937, Javitch bought a store in Lewistown, PA, and named it the GIANT Food Shopping Center. This store offered dry goods and perishables under one roof — a new concept at the time.

Now, with more than 35,000 team members supporting 193 stores, 133 pharmacies, 107 fuel stations, and over 180 online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service in hundreds of ZIP codes, The GIANT Company serves Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

“Growing into a leading grocer certainly didn’t happen overnight, it certainly wasn’t easy, and we definitely didn’t do it alone. This anniversary wouldn’t be possible without our team members, our customers, our supplier partners and our communities — thank you, all,” says Ruane.

As part of the 100th anniversary celebration, The GIANT Company launched its Make a Difference Challenge, an initiative focused on supporting communities through nonprofit organizations. In addition to its Make a Difference Challenge, the company involved many key partners, such as regional food banks, local children’s hospitals and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“As we thought about the best way to celebrate our 100th anniversary, it kept coming back to those who’ve helped us get here and to those who help make The GIANT Company the incredibly special place it is: our team members, customers and community partners. Putting them at the center of our anniversary was the natural choice, because without them, we wouldn’t be marking this incredible milestone in our company history,” says Ruane.

In 2024, Ruane says, GIANT is looking forward to what is on the horizon. “We’ll keep doing what we do best: delivering low prices, high quality, friendly service, and convenience to our customers, and build on our already impressive legacy,” he says.

“We may sell food, but at the end of the day, we’re in the people business,” says Ruane.