A Look Back at Our Beginning.
With only one goal in mind, Robert Hemphill and his family created Webstop out of his kitchen in hopes of providing a seamless and trustworthy digital marketing tool for grocers all over the country. Having left a coupon marketing agency to start this new venture, the grocery industry was his niche and he wanted to help it find success.
Family owned and operated, Webstop launched its company in 1996, trying to help local grocers navigate through the digital transformation that was just starting to take shape with the growth of internet and technology.
As the business grew, Karen and Robert Hemphill began to hire family members, friends of the family, and people they knew from the community to assist in creating the company that we are today. Greg, the oldest son joined the team with as much love for technology as Robert and began to build six-figure websites for our customers. They were crushing the internet before Al Gore invented it!
It wasn’t long before Webstop was taking on larger grocery chains such as Martin’s Grocery. At this time, the team at Webstop created its current form of digital marketing – modules. These modules have pre-built grocery store features that can be repurposed, giving our clients a more cost effective product and our team more time to provide excellent customer service.
In 2003, the Hemphill family decided that the company had become too large to operate out of a home. We opened our first office in Tarpon Springs, Florida as we took on larger grocery clients. In 2008, Shawn – son of Karen and Robert – joined the team after graduating college. At this time, the team was managing digital content for nearly 200 stores nationwide.
When Webstop was introduced to the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) in 2010, we took on 1,100 stores as clients. For each store, we provided common branding while maintaining their unique identity within their brick-and-mortar locations.
One of the most transformative steps that Webstop took in its beginning years was partnering with wholesale grocers. This joint effort allows our smaller grocers to compete with larger grocers. We are bringing value to the smaller, family-owned stores through the creation of digital interactions and advertising.
Over the last 7 years, Webstop has obtained more and more independent grocers while maintaining our corporate clients. As a family-owned business, we find great connections in our smaller clients as we’ve dealt with the anxiety of larger competitors. Our goal is to keep both our big and small clients on the cutting edge of digital technology – so that they are the competition to keep up with.
Today, Webstop employs over 35 staff members and provides 1,700 grocers around the country with the means to create a lasting brand with digital services.