The Orthodox Union West Coast Region will hold its Annual Awards Banquet at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16 at the Sephardic Temple in Westwood, 10500 Wilshire Boulevard. The banquet will honor Ralphs Grocery Company, one of the largest supermarket chains in Southern California, with the OU National Kashrut Leadership Award.
Ralphs, part of the Kroger family of supermarkets, has been a partner with the OU for many years, selling a significant number of products certified by the OU. Recently, Ralphs has expanded its service to the kosher consumer by opening three "Kosher Experience" counters under OU supervision in the Los Angeles area, in addition to the original counter in the Ralphs La Jolla store. These “Kosher Experience” counters provide full service deli and prepared foods. Every year, before Passover, OU West Coast presents programs at a number of Ralphs stores in the Los Angeles vicinity explaining the rules of Kosher for Passover and which foods may and may not be consumed during the holiday.
"Knowing your customer is critical and we wanted to bring our level of quality and expertise to the kosher consumer," explained Kendra Doyel, Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs for Ralphs. “We know that in order to do that with the integrity we want to associate with the Ralphs family name, we had to do it with the greatest experience and the greatest knowledge. The icing on the cake for us is the OU supervision, which is the best in the industry, for our counters.”
Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of OU West Coast Region, declared, "We are very proud of the relationship we have with Ralphs, as its corporate values mesh very closely with the values that guide the OU as well. Ralphs’ philanthropic foundation has long supported many OU programs, and we feel fortunate that they have been such a great partner in our community.”
Ralphs was founded in 1873 and currently operates over 200 supermarkets in California, from its headquarters in Los Angeles.