The Pantry was founded in 1967 in North Carolina by Sam Wornom and Truby Proctor, Jr.
The company grew slowly but steadily throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, with the owners taking out loans on existing stores to buy new stores.
The company began to have problems in the 1980’s and Wornom sold his share in the company to Montrose Capital in 1987. Montrose later gained control of the company when it bought half of co-founder Proctor’s shares in 1990.
Proctor sold his remaining shares to Freeman Spogli & Co., a Los Angeles-based investment firm, in 1995.
In 1997 The Pantry bought Lil’ Champs, a 479-store chain, with stores in Florida and Georgia. This kicked off a buying spree for The Pantry, and it acquired 350 stores buy buying out small chains.
The company went public in 1999.
Today The Pantry is the largest independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States. The Pantry has 1,655 locations in 13 states.