SALISBURY, N.C. — Wilson Smith, a co-founder of the Food Lion chain, based here, died last month at age 93, according to reports. Smith partnered with two brothers, Ralph Ketner and Brown Ketner, with whom he had worked at Winn-Dixie Stores, to open the first Food Town in 1957. The name was later changed to Food Lion.
Smith retired after growing the chain, now owned by Brussels-based Delhaize Group, in the 1970s when it had grown to 100 stores, according to a report in the Salisbury Post. Ralph Ketner, 90, remains the sole surviving founder of the Food Lion chain, which now numbers some 1,300 locations under multiple banners. Brown Ketner died in 1994.
Smith is succeeded by his wife, Evelyeen, sons Ronnie and Tim, and two grandchildren.