Apr 8, 2011


In 1872, 22-year-old bricklayer George Albert Ralphs lost an arm in a hunting accident and was forced to find a new occupation. Ralphs took a job at a grocery store in downtown Los Angeles and saved enough money to open his own store with his brother two years later. Ralphs Bros. Grocery provided lodging for farmers who came to Los Angeles to sell their crops, enabling its founders to establish a good relationship with some of their main suppliers. By 1928, Ralphs, had 10 cash-and-carry stores. As it grew over the next several decades, it opened bakeries, creameries, and floral departments in its stores. In 1978, it introduced a line of Plain Wrap products, an alternative to name-brand items. Today, Ralphs is the largest subsidiary of Kroger.