Smart & Final Celebrates 150 Years of Nourishing Communities

LOS ANGELES–Smart & Final, the smaller, faster grocery warehouse store for household and business customers, is commemorating its 150th Anniversary in 2021. Smart & Final’s history dates back to 1871 when it was founded in Los Angeles under the name Hellman-Hass Grocery Co. With more than 250 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, it stands as one of the oldest and longest continually operating food retailers in the United States. To celebrate, the company is paying homage to their history and celebrating customers’ special moments after a historically difficult year.

“Smart & Final’s 150-year history is a testament to the tremendous value and service we have provided our customers for more than a century and a half,” said Smart & Final CEO, Dave Hirz. “We are proud of our deep connections to the communities we serve. Thousands of our associates live and work in Smart & Final neighborhoods, and our Charitable Foundation works tirelessly to improve the quality of life and nourish our local communities through the support of local non-profit organizations.”

“As we celebrate this milestone, we are humbled and inspired by the resilience of our associates and customers alike who navigated the past difficult year together,” Hirz continued. “And as we return to normal, we look forward to being a part of our customers’ special moments for another 150 years.”

Smart & Final offers traditional grocery products at low prices, along with the club-sized offerings of a warehouse store, in locations that are easy to shop and don’t require a membership fee. Uniquely positioned as the “One Trip & That’s It” store for both household and business customers, as well as anyone entertaining or serving large groups, Smart & Final has enjoyed being a part of their customers’ special family moments for generations.

With celebrations put on hold during the past year, Smart & Final is encouraging customers to share their summer festivities in a “Cheers to 150 Years” social media contest. Now through July 5th, customers who share a photo of how they’re celebrating this summer, a vintage party throwback pic or their favorite party recipe will have a chance to win a $150 Smart & Final gift card.

Additionally, throughout 2021 Smart & Final will publish a special series of #TBT (#ThrowBackThursday) posts highlighting some of Smart & Final’s best historical photos. Trivia buffs following Smart & Final on Instagram (@smartfinal) also will enjoy history quizzes on stories with $25 gift cards being awarded weekly.

Smart & Final Historical Moments and Fun Facts

A complete historical timeline can be viewed at

  • In 1895, Smart & Final introduced what is likely the very first private label brand – Iris. Smart & Final still carries Iris products today.
  • Smart & Final was the first grocer to introduce the concept of “cash & carry” west of Chicago. At the time – grocery stores required a clerk to collect goods for customers. The ability for customers to serve themselves was new and saved them time.
  • In 1880, the first phone directory was published in Los Angeles. Hellman-Hass Grocery Co. was one of only seven telephone subscribers listed.
  • The original Hellman-Hass Grocery Co. merged with another grocery business – Smart & Final Wholesale Grocers – named after J.S. “Jim” Smart and H.D. “Hildane” Final. The combined company kept the Smart & Final name.
  • Established in 2002, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation works to give back, improve the quality of life, and nourish local communities throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. Charitable giving initiatives fall within five pillars of focus: Health & Wellness, Education, Hunger Relief, Team Sports & Youth Development, and Disaster Relief. In 2020, the Charitable Foundation raised almost $2 million to support nearly 1,500 causes.

About Smart & Final

Smart & Final is the smaller, faster grocery warehouse store, headquartered near Los Angeles in Commerce, California. Smart & Final’s 254 store locations offer quality products in a variety of sizes, saving customers time and money without a membership fee. Its larger format stores, Smart & Final Extra!, combine the warehouse store with traditional grocery offerings like farm-fresh produce and natural and organic options, to provide a one-stop shop for all. In business since 1871, Smart & Final remains committed to giving back to its communities through employee volunteer opportunities and donations to local nonprofits.

About the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation

Established in 2002, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that strives to give back, improve the quality of life, and nourish communities we serve throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. The Foundation has donated millions of dollars to non-profits and organizations focused on Health & Wellness, Education, Hunger Relief, Team Sports & Youth Development, and Disaster Relief. The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation raises funds through vendor donations, associates and in-store fundraising.