Founder of Cardenas Markets dead at 73

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. — Jesus Cardenas, a Mexican migrant worker who built a successful supermarket chain in Southern California, has died. He was 73.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says Cardenas, who lived in Rancho Cucamonga, died March 5 of cancer.

His Cardenas Markets chain has some 30 stores in Southern California and Las Vegas, employing more than 3,000 workers. Cardenas operates three stores in Las Vegas.

Cardenas came to the United States as a teenager from Jalisco, Mexico. He worked at local farms and in the 1970s traded some tools for a pregnant pig. That was the start of a successful hog farm. In 1981 he opened the first Cardenas Market in Ontario, selling meat and ethnic foods.

Cardenas was president and CEO for three decades. His wife is a vice president and his four children are involved in operations.


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