Home » WEST: California Grocery Industry Icon Lou Amen Dies At 90
Executive News Home Page Latest News West Year In Review - 2020

WEST: California Grocery Industry Icon Lou Amen Dies At 90

Lou Amen at Super A headquarters in Commerce, California.
Lou Amen

Last updated on November 25th, 2020 at 11:16 am

by John McCurry/contributing writer

The grocery industry lost one of its iconic figures this week with the passing of Lou Amen, founder of Super A Foods in California.

Amen started the chain of eight supermarkets in the Los Angeles area in 1971. He had been in the grocery business for seven decades and served on the board of the California Grocers Association (CGA) for more than 30 years, including serving as CGA chairman.

Super A Foods posted the following statement on its website and Facebook page:

“It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you all that we have lost our founder of Super A Foods. Lou Amen passed away Tuesday morning at his home. He was almost 91 years old and what a go-getter he was. Lou was in the office this past Friday working and had plans to come in this week as well. He loved to work and that is what kept him going.

“So many of our employees have worked for Super A Foods for more than 20-30 years, maybe even 40 years. Super A Foods survived when other chains didn’t and that is because of Lou’s work ethic and desire to keep Super A Foods afloat. He was a giant in the grocery industry and he will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife Dorie, their seven children, 24 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. Our deepest condolences to his family and to our Super A Foods family.”

Amen bought his first store in 1950, and parlayed his investment into a 10-store chain that was later sold and reinvested to build his current family business, according to the Super A website. He is a recipient of the 1999 CGA Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement Award for his commitment and dedication to the food industry.

Recently, Amen and his wife, Dolores, made national headlines when both made quick recoveries from Covid-19. They credited a treatment of prescribed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, according to a Los Angeles TV station.

Grocery industry associations expressed condolences and appreciation of Amen’s illustrious career.

“The entire California Grocers Association family mourns the loss of such a remarkable industry icon,” said Ron Fong, president and CEO. “Lou was a titan for independent grocers, having served for years on the Unified Wholesale Grocers Inc. Board of Directors. Lou loved the grocery industry and strongly supported CGA and our Educational Foundation. He will be missed.”

The National Grocers Association issued the following statement:

“NGA, its members and staff offer deepest condolences to Lou Amen’s family and everyone whose lives he touched at Super A Foods and the entire industry. Lou’s commitment and dedication to the industry helped make independent grocers a driving force in California and the nation. His absence will be felt, as will his impact on a grateful community.”

The Shelby Report inducted Amen into the Food Industry Hall of Fame in 2016, and published a lengthy history of the company, marking its 45th anniversary. In an interview with Shelby VP-West Bob Reeves at Super A’s offices in Commerce, California, Amen talked about how his company had been successful in the hotly contested Southern California grocery market.

A couple of the keys, in Amen’s estimation, were being a union shop, which had led to a high number of long-term employees who know their jobs and do them well, and keeping prices sharp.

“The thing is, if you’re successful working for a chain and you have the will to work hard, then you own your own business,” Amen told Reeves in 2016. “That’s what happens with a lot of us. It gets back to basics; same thing I learned with my uncle back in the ’40s…You have to take care of your customer, you have to have a clean store, you have to have the right pricing.”

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap