In the beginning, the store sold feed and fuel. The location proved to be a good one, not only to receive goods cheaper by rail, but because it was across the street from the town’s ice house which was frequented by local dairy farmers needing ice to chill their milk. This gave the Stantons an opportunity to visit and sell feed to local dairy farmers. The store started slowly but quickly grew to sell four carloads of feed per day. Groceries were added after young George had purchased a case of All-Bran cereal for himself and found out customers wanted to buy it. The store expanded in 1924, establishing Alvin’s first “cash and carry grocery” in which customers received cheaper pricing if they paid in cash instead of the traditional charge account method of payment. E.J. passed away in 1929, just before another expansion later that year.
The 1929 expansion greatly increased the size of the store and the variety of products offered such as appliances, clothing, fabric, housewares, groceries, hardware, and a fountain area for meals. Slogans such as, “most of the best for less,” “if we don’t have it, you don’t need it,” and “Stanton’s six big stores in one” were always promoted. A commonly asked question is what are the six big stores in one? In the 1955 Houston Post article George Stanton said the six big stores in one are: grocery, feed, hardware, dry goods, drugs and fountain.
Stanton’s has always been known for its quality beef, however, in the early years of Alvin quality beef was unheard of because of the harsh Texas gulf coast climate making it almost impossible for such cattle to survive. However, George was determined to raise quality Hereford cattle in Alvin and sell their beef through his store. To do this he constructed on his farm special feeding pens with shade and concrete floors to keep the cattle out of the rain and mud. A slaughterhouse was built and a big red barn was erected for show cattle and hay storage. George was one of the original directors of the Houston Fat Stock Show and he exhibited the Champion carload of 15 steers at the 1934 show. These steers sold for 15 ½ cents per pound, 4 cents more than the previous champion steers the year before. The ranch exhibited one other time, in the Houston carload of steer’s competition in 1947, and again won Grand Champion Steers proving that quality cattle could be raised on the Texas Gulf Coast. One of Georg’s greatest pleasures was raising quality Hereford cattle with his son, Warren, in Alvin and on his hill country ranch in Johnson City, Texas.