In 1927 an employee of the Southland Ice Company of Dallas, Texas, one Joe Thompson, began selling convenience items – milk, eggs and bread – from the company’s ice dock. This became popular in that the items could be preserved by the ice and consumers avoided having to travel longer distances to grocery stores. Thompson eventually bought the company and started an operation of convenience stores. The company's first convenience outlets were known as Tote'm stores since customers "toted" away their purchases, and some even sported genuine Alaskan totem poles in front. In 1946 the name was changed to 7-Eleven, representing the new opening hours of 7.00am to 11.00pm seven days a week, unprecedented at the time. Today the name remains, notwithstanding that most outlets are open 24 hours.