COVINA HILLS, Calif. — Funeral services were recently held here for Jesus Cardenas, founder, president and chief executive officer of the chain that bears his name, who died at age 73.
Cardenas arrived in the U.S. from Jalisco, Mexico, in 1957 as part of the "bracero" program that allowed Mexican nationals to cross the border to work in California's agricultural fields. He started a hog farm in the 1970s and moved into retailing, opening the first Cardenas Market  — offering meat and ethnic foods — in Ontario, Calif., in 1981.
The company has grown to 28 stores, with sales estimated at $800 million. Cardenas is survived by his wife, Luz, and four children. The company said no successor has been named as president and CEO of the chain.
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