Herman Hellman, Jacob Haas and Bernard Cohn open Hellman-Haas Grocery Co., a Los Angeles-based grocery company which sold daily necessities including flour, brown sugar, salt, patent medicines, rope, sheepherding supplies, chewing tobacco and gunpowder.
Hellman-Hass Grocery Co. changes ownership as Abraham Haas (brother to Jacob Haas) and Jacob Baruch buys out Herman Hellman, Jacob Haas and Bernard Cohn, and the name becomes Haas, Baruch & Co.
Haas, Baruch & Co. records annual sales of $2 million and begins to establish itself as Los Angeles’ preeminent wholesale grocer, also introducing its high-quality private label brand knowns as Iris.
J.S. "Jim" Smart, a banker from Saginaw, Michigan, arrives in California and purchases a small feed and grain supplier, the Santa Ana Wholesale Grocery Company, which had been founded in 1912. Joined by partner H.D. "Hildane" Final, the company changes its name to Smart & Final Wholesale Grocers and relocated to San Pedro, California.
Smart & Final opens a store location in Long Beach, California, at which it became the first in the area to offer the “cash and carry” concept. The latest trend in grocery sales, cash and carry allowed customers to choose their purchases, rather than having the grocery clerks gather the items.
Smart & Final Wholesale Grocers merges with Haas, Baruch & Co., Smart & Final being the surviving company, and relocates to Vernon, California, the preferred distribution location for a number of wholesale and retail companies.
Smart & Final is bought by the Thriftimart supermarket chain, under which the Iris brand name was expanded to include hundreds of frozen food products, paper and canned goods, and janitorial supplies.
Thriftimart, Inc. changes its name to Smart & Final Iris Corporation and in 1988 was acquired by Casino USA, the American subsidiary of Casino Groupe, after which the Thriftimart stores were liquidated in order to shift the company's resources to modernizing the chain, expanding store sizes and customer convenience, and offering a product assortment adapted to market needs.
Smart & Final expands into Arizona and Nevada, and continues to increase its presence in California, growing to 140 stores in 20 counties by 1995.
The company made its first venture outside of the United States, opening stores in Mexico through a joint partnership.
Smart & Final acquires some of the assets of United Grocers, Inc., an Oregon-based company, which included their cash & carry store chain (now called Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores).
The Smart & Final Disaster Relief Fund (now known as the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation) is established to give back, improve the quality of life and nourish the communities we serve throughout California, Nevada and Arizona.
Smart & Final was acquired by the private equity firm Apollo Management and subsequently entered a new niche of food retailing through the purchase of 27 Southern California Henry’s Farmers Market Fresh stores and 8 Texas Sun Harvest stores.
Smart & Final debuts the Extra! format, with larger store footprints and an expanded merchandise selection, opening eight Smart & Final Extra! stores by year-end. This sets up for the next ten years of significant growth, facilitated, in-part, by the acquisition of a dedicated perishables warehouse, and further supported by continued investments in distribution capabilities and in-store merchandising.
The Smart & Final Disaster Relief Fund is renamed and expanded to the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation in order to support effort around Health & Wellness, Education, Hunger Relief, and Team Sports & Youth Development, in addition to Disaster Relief.
Smart & Final sells the Henry’s and Sun Harvest stores to Sprouts.
Smart & Final is acquired by Ares Management, LLC.
Smart & Final Extra! conversions and new store openings accelerate, with a total of eight conversions and five new Extra! stores.
The Cash & Carry (now called Smart Foodservice) Charitable Foundation is founded to give back to the stores’ communities by partnering with, raising and donating money to local food banks, and giving time from associates to the Oregon Food Bank.
Smart & Final completes an initial public offering and begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SFS.” Meanwhile, Smart & Final celebrates the opening of our 200th banner store in Long Beach, where the very first banner store also opened.
Smart & Final celebrates the opening of our 100th Extra! format store, located in Spring Valley, California
Smart & Final Extra! store expansion continues with the acquisition of 33 former Haggen store leases in California, which reopened as Smart & Final Extra! stores. Additionally, Cash & Carry opens four new store locations.
Smart & Final opens 14 new Extra! format stores and Cash & Carry opens four new locations.
Smart & Final celebrates the opening of its 200th Extra! format store, located in Long Beach, where the original banner store was opened.
Meanwhile, Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice undergoes a rebranding to Smart Foodservice Warehouse stores, while continuing its aggressive store growth and expansion into new cities and states.
Smart & Final and Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores continue their growth plans, opening new stores every year, expanding into new cities and states to suit customer demand, and rolling out pick-up and delivery options to serve customers where they want to be.