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Charles Theodore Von der Ahe (1882-1973), Supermarket Founder

This week, WeRelate looks at the Person Page of Charles Theodore Von der Ahe, born 29 August 1882 Copenhagen, Denmark, son of Rudolph Peter Von der Ahe (1858-1918) and his wife Caroline Sophie Larsen (1858-1917). Charles was an American businessman, best known as an early innovator in the grocery business in Southern California, and founder of Vons supermarket chain in Southern California along with his two sons, Wilfred and Theodore.
Von der Ahe began his career as a delivery boy for a meat shop and grocery store in Illinois. Then, he headed out west to seek his fortune. He arrived in Los Angeles, and in 1906 with a $1200 investment, he opened Von's Groceteria, a 20-foot store at the corner of 7th and Figueroa streets. Von der Ahe pioneered a system of cash and carry (as opposed to charge and deliver). He also pioneered the combination store concept, through his idea of leasing open storefronts to produce vendors and butchers, innovation which would eventually lead to the development of the first supermarket in California. This Person Page, is a good example of the type of Person Page that you can add to WeRelate for your ancestors. (learn more...)