A May 18 statement from Jim and Joyce Raley Teel revealed that the couple will transfer majority ownership of Raley’s Family of Fine Stores to their son, Michael Teel, who is president and CEO. Michael is the third generation owner of the family business. His four sisters will hold minority ownership of the West Sacramento, California-based company, which owns and operates 127 stores: 76 Raley’s, 20 Bel Air Markets, 22 Nob Hill Foods supermarkets and nine Food Source stores as well as 13 Aisle 1 fuel stations in Northern California and Nevada.
In a letter to Raley’s employees, Jim and Joyce Teel stated: “This is a significant accomplishment, as fewer than 12 percent of family businesses transition to a third generation. With Mike’s passion and vision, we have great faith he will guide and grow the business for future generations.”
Mike Teel will own 92 percent of the company; his sisters equally will share the remaining 8 percent.
“Other details of the deal are a private family matter,” the company said in a press release.
“My grandfather saw the potential in this area 80 years ago,” Mike Teel said. “I want to continue that legacy, and continue to invest in the Sacramento region. It’s poised for growth and so are we. This is our home, and we’re here to stay.”
Raley’s says over the last decade it has expanded offerings in categories such as organic and natural food based on consumer direction. This will continue under Mike Teel’s direction, the company says, as will the “focus on quality customer service.”
“I am honored to take Raley’s into the third generation of family leadership. This is an exciting time for the company, our team members and for me,” said Mike Teel. “I’m very proud, as my parents were, when they took on the responsibility of leading this company. I look forward to working with my sisters and the entire Raley’s team to honor our parents’ and our grandfather’s legacy.”
Thomas P. Raley opened his first Raley’s Grocery store in 1935 in Placerville, California. Joyce Raley Teel, his daughter, became sole owner of the company after his death in 1991. Joyce had officially joined the company in 1985 as director of community relations. Mike Teel joined the family business in 1988 and led the company from 1996-2002. He resigned in 2002 “to pursue personal endeavors,” according to an American City Business Journals article. He returned as CEO in January 2010.
“He knows the market; he knows the company,” his dad, Co-Chairman Jim Teel, said at the time. “The board and the family welcome Michael back with our full, 100 percent support.”
On the Raley’s website, there appears “A Message from Mike Teel”:
This year, we’re celebrating 80 years of rich history. When my grandfather, Tom Raley, opened his first store it was in the midst of the Great Depression. He was committed to succeeding, with his fearless and innovative spirit. In the next generation, my parents’ dedicated and inspiring leadership helped us remain strong. Now, as we move into the third generation of family ownership, I am proud and honored to embrace the responsibility as Raley’s majority owner.
The legacies of the generations before me have influenced my own sense of responsibility to my family’s legacy. I have a responsibility to the team of 12,000, and their families, to our customers and to the communities we serve. From this stems my personal purpose: helping people understand how better food choices can lead to better lives.
Our vision at Raley’s is to infuse life with health and happiness by changing the way the world eats, one plate at a time. We will encourage better and healthier food choices as a trusted source for food, nutrition and wellness. We will leave the Earth better than we found it, supporting more responsible farming and more sustainable choices.
I am confident that we have a solid plan, a clear vision and mission, and a strong team to support the next generation of Raley’s. We have a strategy that speaks to:
Our Responsibility. We’ll integrate healthier options on our shelves, become trusted advisors in wellness and commit to environmental and agricultural sustainability.
Our Customers. We’ll focus on delivering world-class service in our stores and find new ways to connect with customers when and where they need us.
Our Products. We’ll offer fresh products, the products our customers want and more, at fair and consistent prices.
Our Team. We’ll invest in our people, offering a great place to work with common goals and values among passionate and dedicated team members.
At Raley’s, we support healthier people, a healthier planet and a healthier plate—it’s the legacy the third generation will leave.
And I’m so proud to be a part of it.