Person:Louis Amen (1)

Louis Andrew "Lou" Amen, Supermarket Founder & Icon
m. abt. 1925
  1. Joseph Amen1926 - 1977
  2. Emil Phillip Amen1928 - 1994
  3. Louis Andrew "Lou" Amen, Supermarket Founder & Icon1929 - 2020
  4. George Joseph Amen1932 - 2006
  5. John Bishara Amen1934 - 1995
  • HLouis Andrew "Lou" Amen, Supermarket Founder & Icon1929 - 2020
  • W.  Dolores Ara (add)
m. 18 February 1950
Facts and Events
Name Louis Andrew "Lou" Amen, Supermarket Founder & Icon
Alt Name Louis Menenin
Gender Male
Birth[4] 17 May 1929 Flint, Genesee County, Michigan
Marriage 18 February 1950 Los Angeles County, Californiato Dolores Ara (add)
Death? 5 May 2020 Orange County, California

About Louis Amen

Louis Andrew "Lou" Amen was born 17 May 1929 in Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, the son of Bishara Amen Tannous (1886-1966) and Marcelle Ann Radwin (1905-1969), immigrants from Syria and Palestine, respectively. Louis attended Northern High School in Flint, Michigan, which was built in 1928 and was permanently closed in 2014. He decided he wanted to graduate from High School a year early, so he went to summer school and got his diploma in 1946. Soon after, his family moved to Los Angeles County, California and Amen went to work at supermarket operator A&P. He became a Produce Manager at just age 17 at the store in Hermosa Beach, California. The hard-work ethic that started early in his life, which would continue throughout his working career.

Amen decided to buy a supermarket in 1950 with business partner Bob Sherry, which grew into a 10-store chain, S&A Foods that he later sold to grocery chain retailer Arden-Mayfair. That allowed Amen to have enough start-up capital to build his own store group. Also in 1950, Lou met and married the love of his life, Dolores "Dorie" Ara on 18 February 1950 in Los Angeles County, California. [California Marriage Index 1949-1959].

Lou Amen founded neighborhood supermarket Super A Foods in 1971 in Southern California. Super A Foods started with the aim to cater to customers in smaller neighborhoods where bigger named grocers didn’t see a viable market. He bought an Alexander's store on the corner of Sunset and Vermont in Hollywood, which became the first Super A Foods store. Super A grew into a multi-store chain that was one of the first chains to specially cater to Latino and Asian consumers in the Los Angeles area, which was advantageous considering the demographic shifts in Southern California that took place during the late 1900's. Lou became a leader in the grocery industry, serving as a Board Member, Vice Chairman and Chairman of Southern California Grocery Wholesale Distributor Certified Grocers of California for more than 15 years. Certified Grocers later became Unified Grocers, which was acquired by competitor Supervalu in 2017.

Super A Foods also became a family-run operation as Lou's children Jim [President], Renee [CFO], Joanne [Payroll Manager], Jeannie [Head Buyer] and sons-in-law Jude and Ken all helped Lou keep the company successfully competing in the Southern California Market for several decades and is still operating in 2020. The only non-Super A employee in the family is Lou and Dorrie's son Dr. Daniel Amen who is one of America’s leading psychiatrists and brain health experts. He has authored or coauthored 80 professional articles and more than 40 books, including New York Times mega-bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. He has appeared on numerous television shows including Dr. Phil, Larry King, Dr. Oz, The Doctors, and The View.

Lou Amen received several industry honors throughout his lifetime including his induction into the Food Industry Hall of Fame in 2016 for his commitment and dedication to the food industry.

Amen and his wife Dorrie celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary together on February 18, 2020.

At the end of March 2020, Lou Amen and his wife Delores both tested positive for the Coronavirus [Covid-19]. After spending several days in the hospital, Lou and Dorrie recovered and were recovering at home, but at the beginning of May 2020, Lou's situation got suddenly worse and after trying to fight off additional heart complications lost his fight and succumbed early morning on 5 May 2020 peacefully at home with his wife Dorrie.

Lou Amen was a true food industry legend that will be missed by his family, friends and all that knew him.

  1.   U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2. (Provo, Utah, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010).

    Name: Louis A Amen
    Birth Date: 17 May 1929
    Residence Place: Corona Del Mar, California, USA
    Zip Code: 92625

  2.   U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999.

    Name: Louis Amin
    Estimated Age: 16
    Birth Year: abt 1929
    Yearbook Date: 1945
    School: Northern High School
    School Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

    Image:Louis A. Amen Northern High School Photo 1945.jpg

  3.   U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999.

    Name: Louis Andrew Amen
    Estimated Age: 16
    Birth Year: abt 1930
    Yearbook Date: 1946
    School: Northern High School
    School Location: Flint, Michigan, USA

    Image:Louis A. Amen Northern High School Photo 1946.jpg

  4. Unified Grocers.

    Super A Foods Founder and Unified Grocers First Vice Chairman Lou Amen Inducted into Food Industry Hall of Fame

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Super A Foods founder and Unified Grocers First Vice Chairman Louis (Lou) Amen was recently inducted into the Food Industry Hall of Fame, presented by Shelby Publishing. The Food Industry Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have provided leadership, fostered innovation, and dedicated themselves to excellence in the food industry.

    The September 2016 edition of The Shelby Report of the West honors Amen and his family as Super A Foods celebrates its 45th anniversary this year.

    “I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for the Food Industry Hall of Fame than Lou Amen,” said Bob Ling, President and CEO, Unified Grocers. “Lou is an industry icon who has been a staunch supporter of Unified and the independent community throughout his long and successful career. His unwavering commitment to our Members, our Company, the industry and the community is unparalleled.”

    “On behalf of all of us at Unified, I want to thank Lou and the entire Amen family for all they’ve done for independent grocers and the communities they serve. Lou is a giant of our industry whose example will be a positive influence for those in our industry for generations to come,” said Ling.

    Since the first Super A Foods opened in 1971, the Commerce, California company has grown to an eight-store independent chain serving the greater Los Angeles area. Over the years, Lou and his wife Dorie introduced their children to the business. Today, Lou’s son Jim is president of the company; daughter Renee is CFO, Joanne is payroll manager and Jeanie is head buyer. Other family members also work in the business.

    Lou was first elected to the board of directors of Certified Grocers of California (a predecessor company of Unified Grocers) in 1974 and served as chairman of the board for more than 15 years. Lou and Jim both have served on the board of the California Grocers Association (CGA) over the past 30 years and both have served as chairman. Lou received the CGA Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement Award in 1999 for his commitment and dedication to the food industry. In 2015, Jim, Jeanie, Renee and Joanne received the award as well.

  5.   United States. 1930 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T626).

    Name: Louis Menenin
    Birth Year: abt 1930
    [abt 1929]
    Gender: Male
    Race: White
    Birthplace: Michigan
    Marital status: Single
    Relation to Head of House: Son
    Home in 1930: Flint, Genesee, Michigan, USA
    Map of Home: View Map
    Street address: Jamieson street
    Ward of City: 1. Pt. of
    House Number: 802
    Dwelling Number: 130
    Family Number: 175
    Attended School: No
    Father's Birthplace: Syria
    Mother's Birthplace: Syria
    Household Members: Name Age
    Bissara Menenin 43
    Marcelle Menenin 24
    Joseph Menenin 3
    Nemer G Menenin 2
    Louis Menenin 0


    Newport Beach Elderly Couple Survives Coronavirus After Being Hospitalized
    April 16, 2020 at 10:38 pm

    NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — Covered in yellow tarps and wheeled into an ambulance, two coronavirus-positive great-grandparents said goodbye to their family last month and headed to the hospital — on one condition.

    “I’ll only go to the hospital if we can have room together,” said survivor Dolores Amen. She said her and her husband Louis Amen never expected to get the virus, because they don’t often leave the house.

    “When I saw them drive away in the ambulance wrapped like that, I thought I might never see them again,” said their daughter Mary Amen. “I thought that might be it.”

    But after just a few days, both of them were well enough to leave the hospital. They credit their son, famed psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen, with saving their lives.

    He was able to get them both tested for COVID-19 and prescribed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which they took before they even left for the hospital.

    “It worked for me, that’s all I can tell you,” Dolores said.

    Their daughter thinks the drugs are what saved their lives.

    “I believe that them getting the hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin early on in the disease is what prevented them from going over the point of no return,” Mary said.

  7.   Super A Foods Founder Inducted into Food Industry Hall of Fame as his company celebrated 45 Years as a strong Independent.
  8.   The Shelby Report.

    California Grocery Industry Icon Lou Amen Dies At 90
    May 7, 2020

    Image:Lou Amen 1929-2020.jpg

    The grocery industry lost one of its iconic figures this week with the passing of Lou Amen, founder of Super A Foods in California.

    Amen started the chain of eight supermarkets in the Los Angeles area in 1971. He had been in the grocery business for seven decades and served on the board of the California Grocers Association (CGA) for more than 30 years, including serving as CGA chairman.

    Super A Foods posted the following statement on its website and Facebook page:

    “It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you all that we have lost our founder of Super A Foods. Lou Amen passed away Tuesday morning at his home. He was almost 91 years old and what a go-getter he was. Lou was in the office this past Friday working and had plans to come in this week as well. He loved to work and that is what kept him going.

    “So many of our employees have worked for Super A Foods for more than 20-30 years, maybe even 40 years. Super A Foods survived when other chains didn’t and that is because of Lou’s work ethic and desire to keep Super A Foods afloat. He was a giant in the grocery industry and he will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife Dorie, their seven children, 24 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. Our deepest condolences to his family and to our Super A Foods family.”

    Amen bought his first store in 1950, and parlayed his investment into a 10-store chain that was later sold and reinvested to build his current family business, according to the Super A website. He is a recipient of the 1999 CGA Educational Foundation Hall of Achievement Award for his commitment and dedication to the food industry.

    Recently, Amen and his wife, Dolores, made national headlines when both made quick recoveries from Covid-19. They credited a treatment of prescribed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, according to a Los Angeles TV station.

    Grocery industry associations expressed condolences and appreciation of Amen’s illustrious career.

    “The entire California Grocers Association family mourns the loss of such a remarkable industry icon,” said Ron Fong, president and CEO. “Lou was a titan for independent grocers, having served for years on the Unified Wholesale Grocers Inc. Board of Directors. Lou loved the grocery industry and strongly supported CGA and our Educational Foundation. He will be missed.”

    The National Grocers Association issued the following statement:

    “NGA, its members and staff offer deepest condolences to Lou Amen’s family and everyone whose lives he touched at Super A Foods and the entire industry. Lou’s commitment and dedication to the industry helped make independent grocers a driving force in California and the nation. His absence will be felt, as will his impact on a grateful community.”

    The Shelby Report inducted Amen into the Food Industry Hall of Fame in 2016, and published a lengthy history of the company, marking its 45th anniversary. In an interview with Shelby VP-West Bob Reeves at Super A’s offices in Commerce, California, Amen talked about how his company had been successful in the hotly contested Southern California grocery market.

    A couple of the keys, in Amen’s estimation, were being a union shop, which had led to a high number of long-term employees who know their jobs and do them well, and keeping prices sharp.

    “The thing is, if you’re successful working for a chain and you have the will to work hard, then you own your own business,” Amen told Reeves in 2016. “That’s what happens with a lot of us. It gets back to basics; same thing I learned with my uncle back in the ’40s…You have to take care of your customer, you have to have a clean store, you have to have the right pricing.”

  9.   Orange County Register (Newspaper).

    Image:Louis Amen 1929-2020.jpg

    Louis Amen
    1929 - 2020

    Louis "Lou" Andrew Amen passed away peacefully on May 5, 2020 at his home in Corona del Mar, CA at the age of 90. Louis, the middle of five sons, was born on May 17, 1929 in Flint, Michigan, to Bishara Tannous and Marcella Radwin. A lifelong entrepreneur, he started selling Eskimo Pies to the GM factory workers as a teenager. He used the $1500 he saved to relocate his family to Los Angeles. At the age of 17 he was a Produce Manager at the A&P market. He then leased the produce department from the Vernon Vermont market in 1952. On his first day, he started with $60 in produce that he sold for $100. The next day he bought $100 in produce that he sold for $200. Within two years he had become a full partner. For a decade they had the grocery concessions in the back of Leonard's. Then S&A Foods was formed and became 10 stores which was sold to Arden-Mayfair. In 1971, Lou started Super A Foods, which grew to over 500 employees and currently has eight locations. Even in his older years, he continued to work four days a week, including the morning he passed. He loved the grocery profession and became an industry leader, serving as Board Member and Chairman of both Unified Grocers of California (for over 40 years) and the California Grocers Association. Lou Amen received several honors as a grocery advocate throughout his lifetime including his induction into the Food Industry Hall of Fame in 2016. Four of his children, son-in-law and two grandchildren continue his legacy at Super A Foods. In 1949, Lou met the love of his life, Dolores "Dorie" Ara at a Lebanese picnic on Labor Day. They were married February 18th, 1950. Lou and Dorie raised seven children in Encino and later relocated to Corona del Mar in 1974. Their tight knit clan currently includes 21 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild, with two more on the way. His seven children credit their father's strong work ethic and moral example to their modern day success. He has been a role model to many including his grandchildren, employees and industry colleagues. You would often find Lou playing cards with Dorie, his children and grandchildren. His competitive spirit made him quite the card challenger and beating him was the ultimate bragging rights. Lou also loved nature, regularly tending to one of his many flower pots or taking sunset pictures from his balcony. In 1983, Lou and Dorie purchased a family ranch in Fillmore, where he enjoyed hand picking oranges, avocados and lemons to give to his family and friends. After establishing several citrus ranches, he served on the board of the Fillmore Piru Citrus Association for three years. Shortly after, the city council approached him about opening a local market in Fillmore and so he added a Super A Foods store to the area. Louis is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Dolores. Children: Christine Amen, James (Sherrie) Amen, Dr. Daniel (Tana) Amen, Jeanne (Ken) Miller, Mary Anne Amen, Renee Amen and Joanne (Joud) Tedmori. Memorial donations may be made to The California Grocers Association Educational Foundation. Please send to c/o Super A Foods 7200 Dominion Circle, City of Commerce, CA 90040.