Our Story

Vons history, an old Vons storefront.
always changing for the better

Vons, the Start-Up


Downtown Los Angeles was essentially a small town when Charles Von der Ahe opened his 20-foot wide Groceteria on the corner of 7th and Figueroa in 1906 with $1,200 in savings. It was a neighborhood store that catered to the needs of local families, where Von der Ahe pioneered "cash and carry" as an alternative to "charge and delivery." His formula proved so successful that by 1928 Vons had expanded to 87 stores. Charles Von der Ahe sold his chain the following year, but four years later, despite the Depression, two of his sons, Ted and Will re-started Vons. Its growth and innovation over the next 70 years was non-stop. In 1948 the brothers opened their most ambitious store at the corner of Santa Barbara and Crenshaw. Thanks to the introduction of pre-packaged perishables, they were able to offer some of the first self-service produce, meat and deli departments. This milestone marked the advent of the first true supermarkets as we know them today. The most explosive growth occurred during the 1970's when Vons branched out to 159 stores with 16,000 employees, making it firmly the #1 grocery retailer in Southern California. In 1996, Safeway Inc. acquired a 35% stake in Vons, and the two companies fully merged in 1997. Vons stretches from San Diego to Fresno, from Clark County, Nevada to the Pacific. Its 273 stores serve millions of Southern Californians and Nevadans.

Keeping Up with the Neighborhood


The marketing area which Vons covers comprises some of the most affluent, forward thinking, culturally mixed communities in the U.S. The Vons business strategy has always been to provide for the needs of these communities with the highest quality meat and produce at competitive prices. Equally important, Vons has been changing as Southern California changes. Capital spending insures a continuing pace of replacemement stores and remodels.
Enhancing the Shopper Experience

Enhancing the Shopper Experience


Vons has introduced shoppers to full-service banks within its stores, one-hour photo centers, professional pharmacies, dry cleaners and customer service centers which offer copying and faxing. Vons has never forgotten its commitment to quality. Most stores now contain full-service delis, scratch bakeries and complete floral departments. The company is particulary pleased to offer the Safeway SELECT line of premium quality products, encompassing over 1200 private label items. We also deliver groceries in many major U.S. cities and suburbs. Customers can order any time from their home or office, or order on-the-go using our mobile app.
Good Neighbor Policy

Good Neighbor Policy


Vons has always taken its community responsibilties seriously. The company and its employees raise millions of dollars annually for their local Easter Seals Society. Employees are also able to earmark funds for specific charities through the Vons Foundation. The range of recipients has been broad, from teacher training to local food banks. It has always been the policy of Vons to support their communities at the local, personal level.