Cardenas Markets has promoted Eric Stover to CEO, the Hispanic grocer announced Wednesday.
Stover, who joined the company in March 2020, most recently served as chief merchandising officer. In his new position, he will report directly to Doug Sanders, chairman and CEO of Heritage Grocers Group (HGG), the parent company of Ontario, California-based Cardenas Markets.
Sanders had served as chairman and CEO of Cardenas Markets from 2018 until last August, according to his LinkedIn profile. With Stover’s promotion, he will now focus on the company’s overall expansion strategy. HGG’s portfolio also includes Tony’s Fresh Market and Los Altos Ranch Market.
Before coming to Cardenas, Stover worked as a division manager at United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) and as a division VP for Sprouts Farmers Market. He also held leadership posts at Wild Oats, Henry’s Farmers Market and KeHE Distributors.
“Eric’s promotion to division CEO supports the company’s strategy and overall growth plan,” Sanders said in a statement. “Serving as chief merchandising officer for Cardenas since 2020, he led multiple successful initiatives focused on meeting and expanding our customer’s evolving food preferences while optimizing their shopping experiences, both in-store and online. Eric is a strong leader with extensive experience and vision, and I am confident that he will do an excellent job leading the exceptional team at Cardenas Markets.”
Cardenas Markets is one of the country’s largest Hispanic grocery chains, and currently has 57 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona. It also has seven locations under the Los Altos Ranch Markets banner. HGG also operates 20 Tony’s Fresh Market stores.
Cardenas Markets was acquired by Apollo Funds, owner of Tony’s Fresh Market, in June. The grocer had previously been family owned before being purchased by global investment firm KKR in 2016. Under KKR’s ownership, Cardenas doubled in size.
Last summer, Cardenas acquired six Rio Ranch Market locations to expand its Southern California footprint.
Cardenas Markets began offering two-hour grocery delivery via Amazon in select locations last fall.