Why Heritage Grocers Is Acquiring El Rancho Supermercado

Parent company of Cardenas Markets, Tony’s Fresh Markets will now operate 113 stores
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
Emily Crowe
Cardenas Markets
Cardenas Markets' parent company has acquired 28 El Rancho Supermercado stores.

Heritage Grocers Group, parent company of Cardenas Markets and Tony’s Fresh Markets, has completed the acquisition of El Rancho Supermercado. The Garland, Texas-based grocer operates 27 stores in its home state and one additional store in Kansas.

The acquisition is in alignment with the grocery group’s growth strategy and demonstrates that the company is poised for growth and success, according to a letter to vendors from Cardenas Markets CEO Eric Stover. The letter also stated that El Rancho Supermercado will remain based in Texas and will operate as its own banner within the group.

“The acquisition of El Rancho Supermercado aligns with our growth strategy and will make a great addition to the Heritage Grocers Group portfolio of companies,” said Marisa Kutansky, director of communications at Heritage Grocers Group. “The team at El Rancho Supermercado has built a strong brand and long-standing relationship with its customers, and by leveraging our collective strengths, El Rancho Supermercado can deliver even greater value to its loyal customers across Texas and Kansas.”

The move increases Heritage’s store count from 85 to 113. The group now operates 57 stores under the Cardenas Markets banner in California and Nevada, 21 stores in Illinois under the Tony’s Fresh Market banner, seven Los Altos Ranch Market stores in Arizona, and the 28 total El Rancho Supermercado stores.

Cardenas Markets acquired six Rio Ranch Market stores in Southern California last summer, and they were transitioned under the Cardenas banner in October.

Additionally, Heritage and Cardenas Markets have been bolstering their executive leadership over the past year to prepare for growth, with Stover being promoted to division CEO of Cardenas Markets in March. He first joined Cardenas in March 2020, bringing more than 35 years of food industry experience to the grocery store chain. Before joining Cardenas, he held leadership roles in merchandising and operations for such food retailers as Wild Oats, Henry’s Farmers Market and Sprouts Farmers Market.

“Eric’s promotion to division CEO supports the company’s strategy and overall growth plan,” said Doug Sanders, chairman and CEO of Heritage Grocers Group, at the time of Stover’s appointment. “Serving as chief merchandising officer for Cardenas since 2020, he led multiple successful initiatives focused on meeting and expanding our customer’s evolving food preferences while optimizing their shopping experiences, both in-store and online. Eric is a strong leader with extensive experience and vision, and I am confident that he will do an excellent job leading the exceptional team at Cardenas Markets.”

In April, Heritage named Darren Karst to the position of CFO. Reporting directly to Sanders, Karst oversees the financial and accounting initiatives for all of the company’s business units. Additionally, Ted Frumkin was named SVP of store development for Heritage earlier this year and oversees the company’s strategic real estate development and growth initiatives.

Ontario, Calif.-based Heritage Grocers is a specialty and ethnic food retailer that operates in four states – California, Nevada, Arizona and Illinois.

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