Superior Grocers’ President Adds CEO to Title

SoCal chain taps Richard Wardwell for role as founder Mimi Song remains as chair
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Superior Grocers CEO
Richard Wardwell

The president of Superior Grocers has been promoted. The California retailer announced that Richard Wardwell will serve as both president and CEO, taking on the role from founder and outgoing CEO Mimi Song.

Like many grocery executives, Wardwell has spent his 40-year career in the industry. He began as a courtesy clerk and worked his way up to several roles, including positions as director of operations for SaveMart and VP of operations at Raley’s Food Source division. He joined Superior Grocers in 2014 as VP of operations before being elevated to SVP of operations, COO and president.

[Read more: "Superior Grocers Unveils New Location in SoCal"]

Song, who started Superior Grocers in 1981 not long after emigrating from Korea, will remain as company chairperson. She said that Wardwell is well suited to oversee the organization. “For over eight years at Superior, he has proven to be a great leader with the vision to expand on the success Superior has built over the past 42 years. He is passionate about the industry and his relentless pursuit of excellence has positioned us for success,” she declared.

a woman posing for the camera
Mimi Song

In addition to growing Superior Grocers from one store in Covina, Calif., to dozens of locations, Song has long supported local causes. The Superior Foundation has raised more than $1 million for schools, youth programs and scholarship programs throughout the region.

Wardwell shared that he is honored to expand his responsibilities as Superior Grocers’ leader. “Very proud of what our team has been able to achieve during these exciting times. I will continue to encourage our leaders, team members and partners to achieve even greater success in providing quality, variety and value to our customers,” he remarked.

To his point, Wardwell’s new executive position comes at a time of growth. In December, Superior Grocers opened its latest store in Tulare, Calif., as it continues to expand into the Central Valley part of the state. Also last year, the company acquired the independent chain Numero Uno, which operated 22 Hispanic stores in Southern California. “Under his leadership, we acquired Numero Uno and I look forward to the next phase of growth and expansion,” added Song.

Superior Grocers is one of the largest independently owned grocery store chains in Southern California, now operating 70 stores throughout that region. Based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., the company is No. 94 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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