What do you call a chain of supermarkets in kentucky, virginia, and tennessee? how about k-va-t food stores? k-va-t is one of the largest grocery chains in the region, with 90-plus supermarkets under the food city banner and about a dozen super dollar discount foods locations. originally a piggly wiggly franchise with three stores, k-va-t was founded in 1955. it has grown by acquiring stores from other regional food retailers, opening new stores, and adding services such as about 75 pharmacies, 55 gas'n go gasoline outlets, and banking. its food city distribution center provides warehousing and distribution services. the founding smith family owns a majority of k-va-t; employees own the rest of the company.