Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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An open letter to the Supermarket Industry From Jack H. Brown Chairman, President and CEO (36 years) Executive Chairman (current) Stater Bros. Markets celebrating our 80th Anniversary Dear Supermarket Mentors, former associates, valued supplier friends, union leaders (I have negotiated within 13 states), respected competition, and most of all my Stater Bros. "Family" Past, Present and Future. As I celebrate my 65 years since I "bagged" my frst bag of groceries and worked the "Bottle Shed" at Berk's Market Spot, San Bernardino, California at twelve (12) years old…I wanted to thank each of you for helping me have a great career (which continues) and is still great! Why twelve (12)…Why so young?.. My father died when I was 8. I was an only child and all the Grandparents were gone, so I had to help mom as soon as I could. Yes, I mowed lawns and delivered newspapers like many of you. Working at "Berks" was my frst "real job." My 26-year-old mother was an orphan and not very healthy with tuberculosis (TB) when I was born, so when dad died it was truly…just mom and me. She raised me alone, never remarried, and was home every night. Worked 8 am to 6 pm, 6 days a week in a Ladies Dress Shop at $12.50 a week and brought her alterations work home so she could earn $1.00 or so a night extra. She never called in sick, never took time oI and never took vacations. Like many single moms do today, she did it all. For anyone who has ever asked, I tell them, "My work ethic came from watching my mom struggle week to week to pay the bills." I was so very fortunate to work for people who cared about people. I found something I really liked doing, something I was good at…and then worked really hard like many of you, 60-70 hours a week was not uncommon, but I loved it and those with whom I worked. Lat's why I am so honored that my Stater Bros. "Family" for over 36 years has allowed me to be their Chairman, President and CEO and now Executive Chairman. If you have never been part of the Stater Bros. "Family" perhaps this song best explains how the Stater Bros. "Family" feels about each other and helped Stater's become the largest privately owned Supermarket Company in Southern California celebrating our "80th Anniversary," (1936-2016). From the Paramount Picture "Love Story", Leme from Love Story (Where Do I Begin) Arranged by John Brimhall, Words by Carl Sigman and music by Francis Lai Where do I begin to tell a story of how great a love can be, the sweet love story that is older than the sea, the simple truth about the love you bring to me? Where do I start? America is the best fed nation in the history of the world because American Farmers – Manufacturers - Grocers all worked together to feed Americans and much of the rest of the world. You should be so PROUD…however there is still more to do to feed the world, but we are still the "Best Ever." In 1962 I attended my frst Supermarket Institute (SMI) convention. Don Parsons was the head of SMI. He introduced a young dashing new head of SMI Michael O'Connor, followed by uncle Bob Aders, Tim Hammond and now Leslie Sarasin. Le beat goes on ! I've had the honor to serve as a Director of FMI for over thirty (30) years and continue to serve. Serving as Vice Chairman in 1991-1992. I have been Honored with the Sidney Rabb Award among others and many Industry Awards, including the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), because of all of those who made me better than I could ever have been alone. I am so grateful. Consider this…Today I am writing this letter from our Stater Bros. new (8 years) Corporate Offices and Norton (Local WWII Hero) Distribution Center and our 200 acres which we own, an investment of over $500,000,000, with room to expand. Our Distribution Center is 2.6 million sq. ft. under one roof featuring a 2.1 million sq. ft. Distribution Center. We are told this is the Largest Supermarket Food Distribution Center in the Supermarket Industry, only 3 miles from Berk's Market Spot where I bagged my frst groceries. I hope Mr. Berk is Proud. He passed at 92, but cut the ribbon to our new San Bernardino Supermarket just 7 blocks from his store before his passing. Many companies have more DC locations and are bigger in total, but not at one (1) location over 2.6 million sq. ft. and 2.1 million sq. ft. under one (1) roof on 200 owned acres. Our average haul is approximately 42 miles to one of our supermarkets (168 stores). So we only need one Distribution Center, but a really big one, which will serve our needs for decades to come and protect the jobs of our 18,000 "Family" members and their over 80,000 dependents. "Only in America"…could a Box Boy and his mother go from the…"Back Room to the Board Room!" We are now passing the…"Shopping Cart"… of America to you, the new generation of Food Executives. Handle with care! Be Proud of your Heritage. Be Proud of your Supermarket Industry. All we have been able to build we built because of a FREE America… FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE… "ALL GAVE SOME…SOME GAVE ALL." Hire a veteran when you can… Pray every night for our Troops on stations around the world. Pray for our Troops to…"Come Home Safe…Come Home Soon. " "God Bless America" Jack H. Brown NAVY VETERAN VIETNAM ERA "Best In e West" "HAPPY TRAILS" Jack with Keebler

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