Ralphs is a leading grocery store and supermarket chain based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 2000 by entrepreneur Ralph Smith, our first location opened in West Hollywood and we have since grown to operate over 500 grocery stores across 5 states.

Our Founding

Ralphs traces its origins back to the year 2000 when founder Ralph Smith sought to open an affordable neighborhood grocer focused on fresh, quality products. Mr. Smith believed big chains forced customers to overpay for staples while neglecting fundamentals like customer service and community involvement.

Building on 20 years of experience working at various grocery cooperatives and food markets across California, Ralph tapped his savings and secured a small business loan to open the first Ralphs grocery store on La Brea Boulevard in West Hollywood.

Focusing on sustainable sourcing, Ralphs distinguished itself by offering organic produce, cruelty-free products, and locally baked goods. Rather than sell mostly shelf-stable items with long ingredient lists, we provided wholesome, uncomplicated foods customers felt good about feeding their families.

From the start, Ralphs committed to supporting non-profits and outreach programs aimed at food accessibility for disadvantaged groups. Mr. Smith himself volunteered at soup kitchens and food banks during the earliest days of the business.

Our Values

During the early years, Ralph and his wife Alice developed guiding principles centered on exceptional service, community focus and environmental stewardship. These values remain core to the Ralphs business ethos today:

Quality: We carefully vet suppliers and producers to provide nutritious food grown sustainably and distributed responsibly. Ralphs aims to offer affordable prices without compromising social values or healthy ingredients.

Service: Ralphs strives to make every shopping experience pleasant through clean, convenient stores, attentive staff and fair policies. We invest in our employees through training, benefits and advancement opportunities.

Community: Volunteering and fundraising for local charities helps Ralphs give back. We support food-focused nonprofits as well as youth programs, education initiatives, shelters, wildlife sanctuaries and more.

Sustainability: Ralphs integrates environmental considerations across operations. We promote plant powered diets, source clean energy, reduce waste, monitor our carbon footprint, and advocate for ecological farming practices.

Inclusiveness: Our diverse customers, partners and staff are the heart of Ralphs. We value people across spectrums of age, background, language and life experience. Ralphs aims to provide fair treatment, access and service to all.

Our Products

Ralphs began as a modest grocer with just the everyday essentials, but our offerings have vastly expanded over 20 years in business. Here’s a snapshot of what customers can find when shopping at Ralphs today:

Grocery

Ralphs stocks all the typical grocery items you’d expect. But we differ from chains by focusing on organic, non-GMO, locally sourced and cruelty-free products whenever possible. You’ll find trusted brands as well as Ralphs premium private label offerings:

Home & Health

Ralphs carries useful household products, over-the-counter medicines, body care items and more:

Deli

Our in-house deli features a great selection of grab-and-go meals for busy families. Choose hot prepared food, custom sandwiches and sides to take home or dine in our café seating areas.

Organic & Specialty

In keeping with our founding commitment to responsible food production, Ralphs provides one of the largest selections of organic, fair trade and specialty items in our regions.

International & Ethnic Foods

Ralphs values all people, so our stores mirror the beautiful cultural diversity of American life. We offer imported goods and authentic ethnic ingredients tailored to the tastes of our unique neighborhoods.

Ralphs Private Label

In 2010 Ralphs launched its proprietary private label line of premium products under the brand Simple Goods. Spanning grocery, home products, ready to eat and specialty categories, Simple Goods represents the pinnacle of quality at Ralphs.

Simple Goods products meet exacting standards established by our founder. We source from producers meeting benchmarks for health, ethics and environmental ideals.

All Simple Goods items also adhere to Ralphs’ famously uncomplicated approach. No artificial anything, no hidden ingredients, nothing genetically modified. Just wholesome products simply made and responsibly sourced.

Today Simple Goods features over 500 distinct products across multiple departments. Here’s a sampling of our private label offerings:

Grocery

Snacks

Beverages

Baking

Home

Personal Care

Specialty

Our Stores

Ralphs opened our first small Los Angeles storefront in 2000. Today our chain has expanded to over 500 locations spanning 5 states, with a mix of formats tailored to neighborhood preferences.

Though sizes and offerings vary, Ralphs stores share common elements centered around quality, value and service. Here’s what customers can expect when visiting Ralphs grocery stores:

Product Selection

Ralphs stores offer 10,000 – 50,000 items ranging from everyday staples to gourmet specialty products. Our stores evolve inventory based on local preferences.

Specialty Departments

Alongside standard grocery, Ralphs provides in-house bakeries, custom meat counters, delis, organic sections and international food aisles. Larger locations may have wine stores, juice bars or cafes.

Weekly Sales

Ralphs circulates weekly sales advertisement in stores and online. Specials feature discounted staples along with seasonal produce, holiday treats and promotional new items.

Safety & Sanitation:

Our stores adhere to strict food safety monitoring, sanitation systems, and health codes surpassing state mandates. Ralphs associates receive extensive training on safe food handling while quality control teams oversee compliance through inspections.

Accessibility

Ralphs facilities are designed with accessibility considerations like ramps, wider aisles, motorized carts, lowered shelves, braille signage and accessible checkouts. Our disability inclusion policies ensure service animals are welcomed.

Sustainability

Eco-conscious construction, reduced energy demands, and aggressive recycling help minimize environmental impact. Many locations also feature EV charging stations, reusable packaging programs, food waste biodigesters and community gardens.

Community Rooms

Most Ralphs stores offer free meeting rooms for local clubs, sports teams, scout troops and non-profit organizations as a neighborhood resource. These bookable event spaces have seating, A/V capabilities and flexible layouts.

In-Store Services

For added convenience, Ralphs provides amenities like Coinstar kiosks, Western Union, UPS Access Points, self checkout lanes, Starbucks cafes, Redbox DVD rentals and on-site banking. Service availability varies by location.

Ralphs Banner Stores

Ralphs owns and operates locations under the flagship Ralphs banner along with 2 other major grocery store brands. Through strategic acquisitions over the years, Ralphs absorbed several smaller chains which now operate as part of the Ralphs family.

Ralphs

Locations branded as Ralphs constitute our standard neighborhood grocery stores, combining wide product variety with staples-focused value pricing. Ralphs stores range from 10,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet in size serving both small communities along with denser urban zones.

Harvest Markets

Harvest Markets represent Ralphs’ premium banner stores focused on artisan, organic and specialty offerings. Shoppers will find direct trade coffees, sustainably harvested seafood, imported charcuterie, boutique wines, and similar gourmet products.

Catering to upscale patrons, Harvest Markets feature amenities like juice bars, in-house eateries, and wine & beer tastings. Most locations range between 25,000 – 45,000 square feet situated in affluent neighborhoods.

Value Way

Value Way fills Ralphs’ discount grocery banner meeting neighborhood needs for affordably priced everyday items. These smaller no-frills stores located in working class areas focus on faster trips for staple goods.

Ranging from 5,000 – 15,000 square feet, Value Way sacrifices breadth for convenience and thrifty pricing. These stores still uphold our commitment to service and responsible products, just without unnecessary amenities that raise costs.

Leadership Team

Ralphs owes our success to the hardworking employees driving exceptional service and quality across all operations. While our founder Ralph Smith retired 5 years ago, he instilled a culture of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness extending from executives to entry level staff.

Here are the leaders presently guiding Ralphs into the future while preserving our founding ideals:

Kate Marshall, Chief Executive Officer

Holding both an MBA and BS in Environmental Science from UCLA, Kate Marshall directs strategy while championing our sustainability efforts. Promoted from her longtime role as Chief Operating Officer, Kate’s journey with Ralphs began 16 years ago as a cashier working her way through college.

Gary Owens, Chief Operating Officer

With 30 years of experience managing retail outlets and c-store chains across California, Gary oversees day-to-day operations from HR to distribution to community engagement initiatives. He joined Ralphs a decade ago, drawn to our ethical business practices.

Alice Smith, Founder & Chairman

While no longer involved in daily decisions, Ralph’s wife Alice remains Ralphs’ Chairman of the Board shaping high level policy. A lifelong philanthropist sitting on boards of several LA non-profits, Alice guides our community outreach and social consciousness.

Stacy Chen, Chief Technology Officer

An early engineer at Ralphs, Stacy Chen built our proprietary inventory and logistics software from scratch. As CTO she coordinates IT infrastructure and spearheadsintegration of emerging technologies like blockchain, AI and digital accessibility tools.

Mark Turner, Chief Financial Officer

Starting off in Ralphs accounting group, Mark Turner vigilantly managed cash flow through booms and recessions to maintain stable growth. His fiscal oversight now steers decisions as CFO to keep Ralphs on secure financial footing amidst rapid expansion.

Terry Russo, Chief Marketing Officer

Leading marketing efforts since 2019, Terry artfully balances customer analytics with the human touch when connecting Ralphs’ purpose and products to patrons. Campaigns blend data-driven precision with compelling stories on community and real ingredients.

Looking Ahead

In 20 short years, Ralphs grew from a humble LA grocer to a regional staple feeding families across 500 communities. But our work has only begun.

As Ralphs expands in prosperity and spirit, we remain committed to the principles at the heart of our first store. Quality service, wholesome products, local focus and environmental ethics will always drive business decisions, no matter how many aisles and items fill our shelves.

Ralphs looks ahead to sustainably shaping food infrastructure across new territories needed for future generations of partners, producers, customers and neighbors. We’re so grateful you’ve joined us on this journey so far.

And if you’re new to Ralphs, welcome! We can’t wait for you to become part of our story.