FREEHOLD, N.J. — Services are planned here this week for Joseph Saker, the founder and former chairman of Foodarama Supermarkets and an influential industry leader. Saker died Sunday at age 83.
Saker grew up in Freehold and in a grocery business run by his parents, John and Mary, and founded by his grandfather, Wohbe Saker, an immigrant from Lebanon. In 1947, Joseph Saker joined Wakefern just one year after the cooperative was founded, and began operating under the ShopRite name in 1951. He incorporated the business under the Foodarama Supermarkets name in 1958 and took the company public in 1965.
Saker was a founding chairman of the New Jersey Food Council, and also was a past chairman and board member of the New York State Food Merchants Association. He helped to start the Academy of Food Marketing and Food Marketing Educational Foundation at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, one of the few business programs dedicated to the supermarket industry. Saker had served as a past chairman and member of the Board of Governors of the organization.
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Joseph Saker retired in 2005. A year later, his son, Richard Saker, took the company private and renamed it Saker ShopRites.
Joseph Saker is survived by his wife, Gloria; six children; 14 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at St. Rose of Lima Chapel in Freehold. Funeral services will be private. Family and close friends are invited to attend the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Rose of Lima Chapel.
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