#FBF: Oak Cliff is the birthplace of 7-Eleven

A Southland employee stands in front of the ice dock on Edgefield at Twelfth, which would become the first 7-Eleven store. Photo courtesy of “Oh Thank Heaven! The Story of the Southland Corporation,” by Allen Liles
A Southland employee stands in front of the ice dock on Edgefield at Twelfth, which would become the first 7-Eleven store. Photo courtesy of “Oh Thank Heaven! The Story of the Southland Corporation,” by Allen Liles

Monday, July 11, is 7-Eleven day.

Every 7-Eleven store will offer free small Slurpees to customers from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Slurpee, and it’s a good time to remind everyone that Oak Cliff if the birthplace of 7-Eleven.

Our Back Story from the January 2016 Advocate tells the story.

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John Jefferson Green operated a Southland Ice Co.-owned ice dock on Edgefield at Twelfth. Customers often asked him to sell a few groceries — milk, eggs and bread. It kept Green busy during winter, when demand for ice decreased.

The Southland Ice Co., which had continued buying up icehouses all over Texas, ran with the grocery idea. The grocery business became the main focus. Grocery shelves were added to ice docks, and as a marketing ploy, Southland ordered totem poles from Alaska, which were installed outside the newly named “Tote’m” stores in San Antonio and Oak Cliff.

The Southland Corp. and 7-Eleven were innovators in advertising and marketing as well as in food and beverage. The stores were the first to sell to-go coffee in paper cups and the first to offer self-serve soda fountains.

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The Slurpee also was invented in Dallas. Find the whole history here.

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