Small Business Monday – Spotlight on City Meats


Birmingham AL
Randy Newell (photo via Kristina O’Quinn)

If you’ve been in Woodlawn in the past, let’s say fifty years or so, you’ve seen our small business of the week, City Meats and Vegetables.  Thousands of people every day pass the store at the corner of 1st AVE N and 55th Place.  Current owner, Randy Newell, shared the ins and outs of this small business with Bham Now.

Special Thanks

Special note – This week’s small business profile features photography from the ArtPlay photography class for middle and high school students at the YWCA Family Resource Center in Woodlawn.  The students visited City Meats, shot, chose and edited the images for this article.

Birmingham AL

City Meats and Vegetables

City Meats and Vegetables has been open for about 24 years.  I have been here for 15 of them. City Meats started out as Mills Restaurant and was in this location for roughly 30 years. The family that owned and operated Mills decided it was time to close.  The son David Davis had a idea, and that is where City Meats was born. I was good friends with David and he brought me in.  After working with him for a bit he started having health problems, and that is when I became owner.

Birmingham AL


We carry fresh chicken(delivered daily), frozen vegetables, fresh produce from the Urban Food Project, and a good variety of frozen meats.  I think that the most unusual item we carry would be frozen rabbit.

Birmingham AL

I am proud of the fresh chicken we carry. We take a lot of time keeping it packed and it would be hard for someone to find it cheaper anywhere else.

Birmingham AL

I enjoy being where we are for all the good people that I have been able to meet and get to know by being here.  I’m proud of the fact that all of these products on the shelves are packed and put out by only four people, working hard.

Birmingham AL

Hardest Thing/Best Thing

The hardest thing to me about being a business owner is everything I have to miss with friends and family to keep City Meats going. The best thing is keeping a good place for the community to buy food, and keeping our four employees working.

Birmingham AL
The name of the original owner is inlaid in tile at the entrance.

I would like to see Birmingham come back as a place to go and shop and enjoy. Thank You for taking your time to spotlight small businesses, and helping us out. Thanks again.


Check out these Bham Wiki Pages for more historic info and photos:

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Kristina O'Quinn
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