Ralph Ketner, co-founder of the Food Lion grocery chain, passed away on May 29, 2016, at the age of 95.
Along with his brother, Brown Ketner, and Wilson Smith, Ralph Ketner founded the Food Town grocery store in Salisbury, N.C. in 1957. Food Town would go on to become Food Lion, and grow from Store #1 in Salisbury to nearly 1,100 stores across 10 states, employing about 63,000 associates.
In addition to his business success, Mr. Ketner was widely known for his philanthropic endeavors, frequently giving to numerous charitable causes in the Salisbury community and beyond.
"On behalf of our 63,000 associates, Food Lion mourns the loss of our founder, Ralph Ketner," said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. "We extend our deepest sympathies to the Ketner family during this difficult time. He had a profound and lasting impact on the entire grocery industry and he has left a tremendous legacy not only at Food Lion, but through his philanthropy and kindness in the Salisbury community as a whole. Forever a welcome and vital part of our family, even at 95 years old, Mr. Ketner still attended several Food Lion events. Our associates adored and respected him and we will miss him dearly."
Mr. Ketner touched the lives of many, and his legacy will live on forever.
The Food Lion family will miss him.