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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Kentucky Grocers Association here inducted Ruel and Suel Houchens, retired executives from Houchens Industries, into the Kentucky Grocers Hall of Fame during a recent luncheon Bowling Green, Ky.
Ruel and Suel Houchens started their careers with Houchens in 1942 and continued the success of the company their uncle, Ervin Houchens, started in 1917.
Born in 1929, the brothers started working for the company at the age of 13. Except for their military service during WWII in Germany, both spent their entire careers working to build upon the foundation their uncle had started. Today, Houchens Industries is among the largest 100 percent employee owned organization in the country.
The Kentucky Grocers Hall of Fame was established in 2004 with Ruel and Suel completing the slate of three 2005 inductees to be honored. KGA/KACS president Pat Hicks provided background on Houchens Industries leadership within the KGA/KACS. He also read congratulatory letters from Tim Hammonds, president and c.e.o. of The Food Marketing Institute and Tom Zaucha, president and c.e.o. of the National Grocers Association.
Houchens Industries was founded as BG Wholesale in 1918 by Ervin Houchens. Today, the diversified company's retail segment includes approximately 40 conventional grocery stores in Kentucky and Tennessee, approximately 40 convenience stores, 23 tobacco outlets and over 200 Save A Lot stores in 13 states. Additionally, Houchens owns and operates several other companies in the manufacturing, recycling, construction, and insurance industries.