Since 1880 Patton’s has served Lorman, Mississippi, Alcorn State University’s (ASU) students and faculty, and surrounding areas as a grocery store and a place to get hot food to go. There have been four generations that have owned and operated the business since its inception and each generation has retained its own building. Yes, the building that you know as Patton’s today is not the original restaurant. There have been four different buildings since 1880 but all of them have been on the same land.
The first generation, in 1880, founded by Lenora Ann Patton, was the first owner and operator of Patton’s. While running the business, Lenora helped to start the first elementary school in Carlisle, Mississippi. In order to provide housing for her family, she took on a job working in Alcorn’s laundry department.
In the 1930s, the second generation assumed control of the establishment. M.T. “Sug” Patton ran and managed what was then called the E.H. and L.A. Patton’s store. At this time Patton’s was a grocery store. You could come in and get cold drinks, bread, medicine, etc. In addition to managing the store, Sug served as Postmaster for Alcorn for nine years. He met Ethel Bolten, who would later become Ethel Bolten Patton. Ethel worked the cafeteria portion and Sug took care of the day-to-day responsibilities of the store.
Ethel Patton-D’Anjou and Edward Bolton Patton became the proprietors of Patton’s in the 1970’s where they ran the establishment successfully for several years.
After going out and accomplishing other life goals, the fourth generation, who are brothers, Francois, Pat, Pierre, and Levi came back to Lorman to jump back into the family business in 1999. When first coming back, the brothers decided to only sell burgers. They wanted to put their main focus on putting out hot and well cooked food. Since then, there have been over 25-30 new items added to the menu which are recipes constructed by the brothers.
Levi D’Anjou, 47, the current proprietor, describes Patton’s as having character, honesty, and integrity. To Levi, Patton’s is an extension of himself. In addition to being the manager and owner, he shares the responsibilities of his employees. “There isn’t anything I’d ask my employees to do, that I wouldn’t do myself. If I ask them to cook, I’ll be right over there cooking with them. I’ve stood side by side with my cashiers running the register well into the night,” said D’Anjou.
Since D’Anjou was nine-years-old, he has been apart of the upkeep of the store. He has learned from the previous three generations the ins and outs of the business. While attending Mississippi State University (MSU), he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business. Being that he grew up in Lorman, Mississippi and seeing the campus everyday, he decided to attend MSU for a change of scenery.
Patton’s is not just a business, it is much more. Its devotion to its craft and to the Alcorn State University campus dates back decades. The work that has been contributed inside the store and on the campus is relentless and inspiring. The next time that you visit Patton’s walk to the back where you’ll see the historical timeline of the restaurant.