Where Did The ‘Sooper’ In The King Soopers Name Come From?

January 14, 2019
Photo: King Soopers Logo Produce Section
An unidentifed worker puts grapes on a shelf in a King Soopers store in southeast Denver on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005.

There really is a King behind the King Soopers grocery store name.

The "Soopers" part is a little harder to track down.

Journalist Matt Masich researched the question for Colorado Life Magazine, and talked to Colorado Matters about his findings.

Lloyd King founded the Colorado-based supermarket chain, now owned by Kroger, in Arvada in 1947.

King had wanted to name his shop after himself and his two sons Lew and Larry — hence the "King." The unique spelling of "Soopers" came from an unusual source: the Archie comics series.

“Larry was an avid reader of Archie comics, which were at their height of popularity right around this time, right in the post-war era when the modern American teenager was invented,” Masich said.

When a something particularly exciting happened, Larry told his father, a character would exclaim, "Sooper!" 

Masich is still trying to track down an Archie comic that uses "Sooper," a hunt that's led him to even talk to an Archie expert at Calgary University.

The grocer stood out for more than just the name. King Soopers was the first supermarket to have an in-store pharmacy, at the 13th Avenue and Krameria Street location still standing (in remodeled form) today. It was also among the early grocery stores to adopt the trend of a self-serve meat counter.