Jackson #4 - Brandon, MS | Jitney Premier

Jackson #4

Sing Food Store | Deli

104 Grants Ferry Road

Brandon, MS 39047

Scroll Down for today's MTC post on Jitney Premier

Happy Sing Oil Saturday, everyone! And welcome to my neck of the woods! This is Retail Retell. You may know me from my Flickr page or my other site, the Mid-South Retail Blog. I'm not normally a part of the Sing Oil racing team, but your regular author has entrusted me to hop behind the wheel for a quick spin and take us across the finish line. Without any further ado, let's start our engines and get this show on the road.

Way back in November 2021, the Sing Oil Blogger contacted me to see if I'd have any interest in helping contribute to his project to document the current status of all of the former Sing Oil stations and convenience stores. Based in Thomasville, GA, Sing over the years had accumulated a small handful of stores in Mississippi (eight, to be exact). The S.O.B. had managed to visit the Laurel store as a detour on a work trip (and later, the Columbia and Gulfport stores), but the remaining locations -- all in the Jackson metro area -- proved a bit more difficult to figure out how and when to document, given the long distance. Hence his email, and my eventual photographing of one of those stores, only a mere year and a half later (hey, I said I would drive in the race, not win first place!). Here is a list of those locations:

Jackson #2 (Terry Rd): 4501 Terry Rd, Jackson, MS 39212
Jackson #3 (Ridgeland): 725 Rice Rd, Ridgeland, MS 39157
Jackson #4 (Brandon): 104 Grants Ferry Rd, Brandon, MS 39047
Jackson #5 (Raymond Rd): 2610 Raymond Rd, Jackson, MS 39212

Of these, Jackson #2 and Jackson #5 are in Jackson proper, and specifically are in areas of the city I've never traveled through. There's a chance these stations may still have some original elements inside, but they aren't particularly stations I'd feel comfortable visiting. (Note also that Jackson #1, at 650 N Mill St, was demolished circa 2010, and that accounts for all eight Mississippi Sing stores.)

Compared to many of the other former Sing stores we've seen here on the Sing Oil Blog, interestingly enough Jackson #3 is the only one locally to have become a Circle K -- and unlike #2 and #5, I've traveled past this one more times than I can count, since it is on my route to and from work every day!

Contrary to what you might expect, however, it is not Jackson #3 we will be visiting today, but instead Jackson #4, located over in a quiet part of Brandon, MS. A loyal Shell card holder, I stopped into this Shell-affiliated former Sing on April 2, 2023, incidentally just a few weeks before I met the Sing Oil Blogger (and Sidekick) in person at Talladega later that month. Before we can get to those present-day photos, though, we need to travel back in time for some history.

It's the year 1983. Not only does the music industry keep churning out hit after hit after hit, the Jackson, MS, metro area is seeing some significant growth. Chief among the new developments is Northpark Mall off of County Line Road in Ridgeland, which -- probably not foreseen at the time -- is the sole surviving indoor mall in the area today. On the Jackson side of County Line, adjacent to I-55 a new headquarters for Farm Bureau had just completed construction, and right next door to it construction on a new, 12-story Ramada Inn had just begun (today operating under the Hilton brand).

The Northside Sun ( - October 13, 1983

While it may be considerably smaller in scope in comparison to those mega projects, The Northside Sun nonetheless decided it noteworthy to reference the upcoming construction of another new project, "a Sing Food Store on Grants Ferry Road near Spillway Road at Barnett Reservoir." In the same breath, the article notes "the new Jitney Jungle Super Center on Old Canton Road is near completion"; we'll revisit that thought later on in this post.

That article was from October 1983; by December, construction was well underway, as can be seen in the image below. Notice that the photo caption mentions the Old Canton location, Jackson #3 in Ridgeland at Rice Road, earlier that same year (February 1983) added a deli, "which offers plate lunches, sandwiches, and fried chicken." The chain had just recently begun experimenting with adding hot food to its stores, and according to the Sing Oil Blogger, the Jackson #4 location that we are seeing today was in fact the very first new-build Sing station known to open with a deli. It was also the first "large format square" store, as defined on the blog's Station Architecture directory.

The Northside Sun ( - December 1, 1983

By April 26, 1984, both this location and Jackson #5 were celebrating their grand openings, and the sale event was extended to all four of the Jackson area locations (not sure where Jackson #1 is in all of this, since it should feasibly have still been in operation at that time, but oh well -- it makes this post simpler to focus only on the ones still standing!). What's really special is that the ad below has photos of each of the four stores as they appeared back in the day: really awesome find there, please zoom in to see them closer. (Credit for all of this research, by the way, goes to the Sing Oil Blogger -- my only job here was taking the pictures and typing some words!)

The Clarion-Ledger ( - April 26, 1984

In conjunction with Amoco's takeover of Sing in 1990, Jackson #4 was sold by Amoco to an independent operator on March 23, 1993, per the Sing Oil Blogger's research. I'd assume it kept the Amoco brand until swapping to BP once Amoco was phased out, and per some old street views and aerial images that we'll see later in the post, the station ditched BP to affiliate with Shell sometime between 2010 and 2012 (makes sense, as the oil spill was in 2010).

I had passed this former Sing store before, but usually always approaching it from Spillway Road, not Grants Ferry. One of my hobbies is to just drive around randomly to help clear my head and to help familiarize myself with the roads in the area, and I believe I was coming back from one such adventure on this day when I found myself passing by. In need of some gas and figuring a quiet Sunday afternoon would be an opportune time to finally photograph the place, I pulled in.

Perhaps it is easily apparent to those of you who are much more well-versed in Sing stores than I am, but I didn't realize until looking at those past street views that the fuel pumps and canopy here are not original. In the Sing days, the canopy (and in turn, the pumps underneath it) would have been situated much closer to the convenience store's corner entrance. This change was made when Shell took over, and also allowed for a bit more visibility and breathing room for the new convenience store facade.

The station is situated at the southwest corner of Spillway and Grants Ferry. The corner of the parking lot by the Grants Ferry entrance features the modern low-rise Shell sign, alongside some decidedly less modern air pumps. We'll revisit those after we tour the interior of the store.

As we approach the store's entrance, we see here on the Grants Ferry-facing side of the building the usual hallmarks of a mid-1980s Sing store: ribbed concrete walls and mansard awnings. The awning has been covered in sheet metal and painted a copper tone, but it's not fooling anyone.

The larger window of the three, on the right, would originally have opened to the outside as a way for customers to pay the cashier for their gas without having to physically walk inside the building. That feature has since been eliminated.  {Correction:  the gas payment window would have been around the corner, just to the left of the doors.  That's a minor detail though.}

The convenience store is operating today as Lakeside Foodmart, and the facade we see here is of course a newer addition, not original to the Sing days (even if the rest of the architecture has remained relatively unchanged).

Heading inside, this shot looks immediately back over towards that Grants Ferry-facing wall, where the cashier's station is. The aisles all run directly front to back from the store's corner entrance, and I'm standing perpendicular to them here.

The coffee, soda, and f'real shake and smoothie machines are all found in the corner to your right upon entering, near the hallway to the restrooms (which can be seen in the right-hand background of the top image above). In the Sing days, the deli seating area would have been located behind a partition along that wall, as was seen back in Laurel; that partition has since been removed at this location, with the space opened up to the salesfloor. 

A look towards the refrigerator wall at the rear of the interior, followed by a couple of aisle shots looking back towards the store's entrance. Not only was the deli seating area removed, it's difficult to identify really any original Sing elements inside this store; the flooring, ceiling, lighting, and fixtures all look to have been replaced. The only thing that has stayed pretty much the same is the store's layout of its aisles, but even then, the merchandise selection within those aisles has trimmed down with the elimination of signed departments that Sing had such as automotive and hardware.

That linked picture, by the way, comes from the post on the Bradfordville Sing. That store was built in the same "large format square" prototype as this location, and is a really good post to reference in comparison (including some original interior photos from back in the Sing days).

As we round the corner past the refrigerator wall, we come across an awkward corner that didn't look like it was being used for very much else besides copious amounts of beer storage. (I'd imagine this store must do some pretty good business so close to the reservoir!) I think this originally would have been the snacks alcove? I didn't really get good enough shots of this area, nor did I get any shots at all of the cashier counter and onetime deli space. I'm basing most of this on the location of the refrigerators as well as the frazil machines, as shown in the photo below (I've never heard of any of these machines!).

Here's one last interior shot, looking back across the wall of refrigerators from that little alcove space. As I mentioned, the cashier counter and former deli would have been out of view behind me from this spot, along the Grants Ferry-facing wall. While the store may no longer have a deli, per Google Street View imagery it did feature something called Las Braza's Mexican Grill through at least sometime in 2022, so I'd assume that operation was occupying the deli area (and perhaps the deli seating area was kept intact until then as well?).

Heading back outside, here's another shot of the facade for Lakeside Foodmart. No one was here when I entered, but that truck pulled up sometime while I was inside, and refused to leave. I think maybe it just parked there instead of any of the, you know, actual parking spaces. As one does. 

The Spillway-facing side of the building. The rectangular sign frame above the mansard awning used to advertise the Mexican restaurant operation, but has since been painted over following its closure.

When I went to check out with my purchase, the cashier at the register said it took me quite a long time to find what I was looking for -- oops XD  That said, she did continue, saying that's okay, it's like that sometimes... so if she saw me taking any pictures she didn't let on, for which I am much obliged!

While we're here, I thought I'd get some shots of the gas pumps. As I mentioned, these were fully reconfigured when the station switched branding to Shell. I also mentioned that this station was nice and quiet on this lazy Sunday afternoon, and here's proof of that. I always feel relaxed when I cross the reservoir and hang out in this area of Brandon near the spillway. It's just so pretty, not only the water (of course), but also all the trees in this area. There are lots of those in the background in the above photos, but the ones below are even more interesting:

For whatever reason, the entrance to this station from Spillway Road is set way far back from the intersection itself, allowing for a nice little grove (ha) of trees along the long driveway to the fuel pumps. How pleasant and peaceful! I think I'd have a good day just taking a lawn chair and plopping myself out in the shade.

Here's the tiny monument Shell sign at the Spillway (long driveway) entrance: just the logo, no prices at all. That means you'd have to go around the corner onto Grants Ferry to see the prices before pulling in... if you cared to make a choice between this and any other nearby station such as the Chevron across the street, that is. (But to get to that station you'd need to be on Grants Ferry anyway, so I guess that's a moot point.)

You might think that would conclude our documentation of this store, but you'd be wrong! After I emailed the Sing Oil Blogger my photos, he immediately latched onto the air pumps, which I admit caught my eye also. We know, of course, that these fixtures are original, but what was more intriguing was the sign affixed to the one on the left:

Reading "self service air & water," this sign looks very aged and faded, has had a portion of its base painted over, and dons a shade of blue not dissimilar to that used by Sing back in the day. I think we've got ourselves a relic! The Sing Oil Blogger said this is something he'd never seen before, so I was happy to inadvertently stumble across a rare find.

I went back to the station about a month later, on May 6, 2023, to get some additional photos of these air pumps, this time with a friend in tow (who was just as interested as I was!). Like I said, we already knew that the light fixtures and poles themselves were original to Sing, but it's cool nonetheless to see the flakes of blue paint coming through at the bottom betraying those origins. I'm sure we looked weird to any passersby, kneeling down taking pictures of these lightpoles!

Unlike the one on the left, the pole on the right has had its sign completely painted over, I guess because these days the sole air and vacuum fixture is positioned only at the left pole.

With only air and vacuum features available, I suppose the "water" portion of this sign isn't accurate anymore, and maybe that's even why half of it was painted over -- until the painter realized going all the way would mean they'd also have to cover over the ampersand, and that would look even stranger. Who knows, lol. Whatever the case may be, I was excited to have something to show for this visit!

I'll close out this section of the post with the standard Historic Aerials and Street View imagery...

Google Street View - March 2022
Note the signage for Las Braza's Mexican Grill

Google Street View - January 2016
First street view as Shell, and $1.69 for gas?!

Google Street View - May 2009
Original canopy and entrance design, operating as BP and Kangaroo Express. The Sing Oil Blogger notes that the road sign for BP is possibly original to Sing as well

Historic Aerials - 1983
Future site of Jackson #4

Historic Aerials - 1985
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana there was U2, and Blondie
And Sing Oil on Grants Ferry

Historic Aerials - 2002
Or 2003. It's literally the exact same image for both.

Historic Aerials - 2009
Still a BP here, with the original canopy intact

Historic Aerials - 2012
Now a Shell, with new canopy and fuel pumps

Historic Aerials - 2021
Most recent aerial imagery



A Jungle of Information

So far in this post, I've been referencing "the reservoir" a lot. What I'm referring to is the Ross Barnett Reservoir of the Pearl River, known locally as "the Rez." I live fairly close to the Rez, and while it is not a part of my daily commute (thankfully -- I think I would get sick of being stuck in the one-way-in, one-way-out traffic if it was!), I do enjoy crossing it recreationally whenever I get the chance. That main route, which bridges Madison and Rankin Counties, is known as the spillway (hence Spillway Road) and is a dam that travels east-west; there's also the causeway, which runs north-south, as well as sections of Hwy 43 and the Natchez Trace Parkway that pass by and/or cross the reservoir. I have driven over all of those at various points in time, multiple times, and haven't gotten tired of looking at the water yet -- it's absolutely beautiful. To be honest, it also reminds me of the Lake Murray Dam in South Carolina, which I am familiar with crossing whenever we've visited our family out that way. As a matter of fact, there are several aspects of life in Ridgeland and this area that I have been able to make connections with to other places that are important to my life, and that's part of what has made it fun to live here.

Anyway... I bring all that up partly because I just want to express my love for the Rez, and partly because it ties into the former Sing store I showed y'all already, given that it is on the Brandon (Rankin County) side of the Rez. At least in my experience with it, the Rez has a much greater impact on Rankin County life. The Madison County side of the spillway, where I live, feels just like a regular town with all its commercial development; once you cross, though, it's a huge swap over to majority residential, with lots of neighborhoods having houses that back right up to the water. It's a very active area, with lots of parks, trails, and amenities; the abundant shady trees, like we saw in the earlier images, also contribute to the wildly different feel on the Rankin side as opposed to the Madison side. It's not all residential, though; we did, after all, see the old Sing station. And there are some other retail establishments along Spillway Road, too, such as a former Jitney Jungle store.

While, as I said, I have been over this way many times on my own, I think it was actually on a work trip that I first noticed this store; I was meeting my coworker at her house near here, so we could carpool together to a client site. I've passed a number of former Jitney stores bearing this design with the prominent central column, but this one in particular caught my eye for two reasons: one, it remains vacant (well, at least the majority of the building, anyway), and two, it's still got a clear labelscar visible, all these years later!

While a portion of the right side of the store is occupied by Spillway Wine and Spirits, the center and left portions, to include the space behind that prominent central column, remain empty. And on the column itself, we see a labelscar that plainly reads "Jitney Premier."

Jitney Premier is just one of many different store names and formats that the company used over the years; while I'd love to dive into that someday, frankly I have to admit that I just haven't been able to find a whole ton of information out there, and such a discussion is also beyond the scope of this post. In fact, my original intention was to show only these few labelscar pics as a short little bonus to conclude this post, rather than do a full "More Than Convenience" feature... but then, as usual, I went down a rabbit hole. And if I had to go down it, then gosh darn it, y'all are gonna join me!

former Jitney Premier, 1925 Spillway Road, Brandon, MS 39047

So if y'all will remember along with me, earlier in this post we referenced a Northside Sun article from October 1983 saying that "the new Jitney Jungle Super Center on Old Canton Road is near completion." A Clarion-Ledger article from the following month, shown below, announces the grand opening and includes a picture of the store:

The Clarion-Ledger ( - November 6, 1983

All that's well and good -- except for the fact that I've passed by the Jitney Jungle on Old Canton many times, and that sure as heck ain't what it looks like! The store that I know to be there looks like the images below, with the fancy curved high overhang and stately columns -- not the "regular" awning-heavy design. I knew that after Jitney's eventual closure, the store was occupied by Fred's and Surplus Warehouse and is today an Extra Space Storage facility, but evidently some major changes must have taken place between the store's 1983 opening and Jitney's demise -- changes which I knew nothing about.

Yes, this is just a rendering, but it's still representative of what the store looked like. Courtesy LoopNet

Former Jitney Premier | Winn-Dixie #1350, 6240 Old Canton Road, Jackson, MS 39211

The way I was able to investigate this was somewhat in a backwards fashion. Instead of proceeding forwards from 1983, I worked backwards from 2006. The below article was published in January of that year, and on its store listing shows this location, listed at item 4, as "remains closed," indicating that the store made it all the way through the Winn-Dixie days.

The Clarion-Ledger ( - January 13, 2006

Woah woah woah, hold up. Winn-Dixie?! I thought we were talking about Jitney Jungle! Yeah, that's my bad. Like I said, I worked backwards. For the uninitiated, the below article includes a quick linear timeline that takes you from Jitney Jungle's founding all the way up to October 12, 1999, when the chain declared bankruptcy. Unfortunately, there wasn't too much longer to go after that: instead of emerging, just over one year later, on October 31, 2000, Jitney Jungle announced it was selling the bulk of its stores to Winn-Dixie. (Winn-Dixie, for their part, said they would not rebrand the stores. They lied.)

The Clarion-Ledger ( - October 13, 1999

Winn-Dixie, of course, faced its own troubles in the early 2000s. In August 2005, they announced that they, too, would retreat from the Jackson metro area (for the second time: in 1986, Winn-Dixie and Jitney Jungle did this same tango, except the buyer and seller roles were switched back then!), with the Winn-Dixie closures in some ways representing Jitney's final departure (even if the name had not been retained). The below article shows the list of Winn-Dixie stores in the metro on that date -- the same list as from the 2006 article I showed earlier -- of which a majority are former Jitney sites that W-D had acquired five years before. In fact, Winn-Dixie constructed only two new-build stores during their time in central Mississippi in the early 2000s, both of which, incidentally, are still open today as Kroger (a story for another time!).

The Clarion-Ledger ( - August 9, 2005

Notice how Winn-Dixie just stuck its logo within the existing Jitney Jungle oval sign frame. The store pictured is the location at 398 Hwy 51 in Ridgeland, item 2 on the list. Here's that same store during the Jitney days...

Courtesy WLBT - Jitney Jungle Super Center

...and today as Mac's Fresh Market. (For anyone wondering, the flooring inside is still original, but everything else has been remodeled.)

Courtesy LoopNet - Mac's Fresh Market

You'll notice that this store, signed as a Jitney Super Center, looks identical to the photo shown of the Old Canton store in its newspaper grand opening article from 1983: so again, that brings us back to the pivotal question, what happened at that store to get it to look so drastically different? I fear that a lot of the above exposition on Winn-Dixie served only to confuse rather than to add anything meaningful to the story; I apologize for that. Mostly I'm just using this portion of the post to dump all of my research in one place and finally get it published while it's actually fresh on my mind rather than looking all of this up only to do nothing with it for so long that I completely forget it again by the time I come back around.

Anyway, all of that to say... I did ultimately come across an article from February 1998 mentioning that Jitney Jungle, fresh off the heels of purchasing Delchamps the year prior, would make a major push to rebrand its locations as Jitney Premier and Delchamps Premier, "increas[ing] fourfold the number of its combination stores trading under" those banners. {Another aside that hopefully isn't too distracting or confusing: the same article mentions that Jitney had been "interested in [acquiring] Seessel's Supermarkets -- the 10-store Memphis, Tenn., operation owned by Bruno's, Birmingham, Ala. -- but was outbid earlier this year by Albertson's, Boise, Idaho, which paid $88 million." Ha! That ended up a mess all its own, but it's funny how all these stories intertwine.} {Another aside from the S.O.B.:  Most of the Delchamps stores were sold to Bruno's whenever the Jitney locations were sold to Winn-Dixie}

Continuing to work backwards, referencing Historic Aerials at the same time as I was pulling those Sing images from earlier finally provided the hard proof: the store first appears in the 1985 imagery, then by the time of the next pass in 1996, the addition and new, stately facade had been constructed. The image below is from 2002, but I'm including it instead of the 1996 one because the shape of the facade and the location of the addition is very plainly obvious based on the roof color.

Historic Aerials - 2002

While the Premier banner evidently became fairly widespread, I'm not sure how many stores were ever built in this particular format. I am for sure aware of at least two more -- one in Flowood (now another storage facility, like its Jackson sibling), and one in Brandon (now serving as city hall: the stately architecture certainly lends itself nicely to that purpose!). But I also know of others, such as the one along I-55 North (now Audi VW Jaguar Land Rover of Jackson), that featured different designs. In short -- who knows how common this design was. The moral of the story is, at least I learned it was not original to the Old Canton location, even though I thought it was.

I could have stopped there, but I dug just a little bit further back in time, and I'm glad I did. I stumbled across a couple of articles from 1994 with the store already expanded and branded as a Jitney Premier. The actual subject matter of those articles is a bit unfortunate -- a kidnapping incident that involved in a police shootout and a dead suspect -- and also leads to what I can definitively say is one of the most detailed, yet strangest, store renderings I have ever seen published in the news. If this entire MTC post has felt a bit off the rails, this image certainly takes the cake!

Courtesy The Clarion-Ledger (

Courtesy The Clarion-Ledger (

Aside from that rollercoaster of a history section, the ultimate reason I decided to pivot and focus on the Old Canton Jitney Premier rather than just including those four Spillway Road labelscar pictures is because I remembered I had these photos saved to my computer, courtesy of James Kirslis of The Seaway Project. Last year, James had access to a book showcasing supermarket design (aptly titled Supermarket Design, released in 1996 and authored by Martin M. Pegler), and one of the stores featured just happened to be a Jitney Premier, which I have pretty conclusively determined is the store at 6240 Old Canton Road in Jackson. How cool is that? Like I said, we've definitely worked backwards here, going from the present day, back through Winn-Dixie's closure, to Winn-Dixie's purchase, Jitney's bankruptcy before that, and the store's expansion from a Jitney Super Center into a Jitney Premier, ultimately ending up here at interior pictures of the store from the early 1990s. All of these pictures come with captions of their own, so I'll let them speak for themselves -- please feel free to zoom in to read the captions and see all the pictures in greater detail. I'm not aware of any stores out there surviving with this decor package -- or, for that matter, with any Jitney Jungle decor package -- but if you know of any, please reach out via email or Flickr or share in the comments below, because I'd love to learn of any surviving Jitney stuff in the wild!

Special thanks again to James for contributing those book photos, and of course to y'all for sticking around and reading this entire post! I hope you enjoyed it; I definitely enjoyed my time in the driver's seat. Now, though, it's time to put this post in park and hand the keys back over to the Sing Oil Blogger for the next one. I'll roll my way back over to the Mid-South Retail Blog and my Flickr page for future content -- please feel free to check those out if you get a chance. Until then and as always, thanks for reading, and have fun exploring the retail world wherever you are!

Folks, that will conclude this semester of The Sing Oil Blog, but make sure to check back in August to see what adventures I've found myself in during my time off.  Thanks again to Retail Retell for visiting the old Sing Store for me and writing up such a great post!

While I'm taking my time off, make sure to keep an eye on My Florida Retail Blog for any spontaneous posts your Southeastern Retail Bloggers may cook up, and also be sure to follow the rolling Winn-Dixie to Aldi conversion page I've been maintaining.

Until next time,

- The Sing Oil Blogger