Jesus Cardenas arrived in the United States from Jalisco, Mexico in 1957. He began working in the fields as a farm worker, toiling the land and dreaming of starting his own family business.
He decided to open a store. Together with his wife, Luz, they opened a 4,000-square-foot market in Ontario in 1981. They provided unique Latino products and foods that reminded people of their home country. Little did he know, but that one store would evolve into the business empire and philanthropic power house now known today as Cardenas Markets.
Presently located in 19 different cities throughout the Inland Empire and Las Vegas, they are opening their 32nd store, a 40,000-square-foot market in Murrieta. Truly a family business, the stores are managed by the Cardenas’ now-grown children Jesus Jr., Lupe, Jose and George.
They have worked for more than 30 years to bring high quality foods to traditionally underserved areas.
With their success, the Cardenas family believes in giving back to the communities they serve. Working within their communities on issues such as education, healthy living, and even early voting sites, Cardenas Markets is as much a corporate citizen as it is a community market.
Jesus Cardenas never received a formal education before he died in 2013, but his family has always stood behind the idea that everyone deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education.
“We have an inherent responsibility to serve our communities, and to change some of the dismal statistics that exist. What better tool to solve our problems, than through education?” asked Cardenas Public Affairs Director Marco Robles.
Cardenas Markets gives to a multitude of colleges and universities, and the University of La Verne is honored to be one of the beneficiaries of their effort. They have donated more than $60,000 to the University in the last two years.
The ever-growing business has sponsored La Verne’s Scholarship Gala, LEAD Conference, Parent Empowerment Institute and the University Golf Tournament.