The road that runs between the Spinx company headquarters and the site of Stewart Spinks’ first foray into retail has a new name.
South Carolina Department of Transportation officials gathered with representatives of The Spinx Co. today to announce that a portion of E. Washington Street will be known now as Stewart Spinks Road.
Spinks was an employee of Shell Oil Co. in 1972, calling on service stations, when he gathered the nerve and a loan to buy his first store in Greenville — a site that now will have a Stewart Spinks Road address. He told SC Biz News last year, as the company celebrated 50 years in business, that his first notion of a chain came to him as he attempted to convey confidence to the banker who eventually gave him the loan to buy that first site. That notion for maybe 10 stores has grown into the largest privately held retail employer in the state, with 83 stores and more on the planning board.
Spinx stores provide 1,400 jobs across the state. Many of the sites also include a quick service restaurant or car wash.
But according to South Carolina House Resolution 3974, Spinks is remembered with a new road name also because he and his company were about more than profit. Once recognized as the “Individual Philanthropist of the Year,” Spinks and the Spinks Family Foundation have donated more than $1.2 million to the American Cancer Society, $1.6 million to the March of Dimes and $250,000 to a bridge at Greenville’s Unity Park. He also donated a Falcon 10 jet to Greenville Technical College’s aircraft maintenance program and has been a strong supporter of Favor Greenville, a recovery center that helps people overcome addiction.
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The House resolution was introduced by Rep. Chandra Dillard (D-Greenville).
“I am deeply humbled and grateful for this incredible honor," Spinks, now chairman of The Spinx Co., said in a news release. “It was at this location more than 50 years ago where it all began. I am beyond grateful for this community for believing in me, supporting me and welcoming me those many years ago. This dedication will stand as a symbol of our collective efforts to make Greenville a better place for generations to come.”