Metro Beat

I hope this column finds everyone enjoying the end of the summer and the beautiful weather we have been experiencing so far in the Northeast. Between all the industry golf outings, dinners and store openings there certainly has been ample time to get out and enjoy the season and to catch up with our friends in the industry.

We heard from Connecticut Food Association (CFA) president Wayne Pesce who asked us to pass along this information: CFA’s 2018 Person of the Year will be held on October 18th at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. This year’s honoree will be Tracy Moore, senior vice president of procurement at C&S Wholesale Grocers, and the event promises to sell out! Don’t hesitate to get your tickets. Also, being honored that evening will be Carla Squatrito of Carla’s Pasta with the CFA Community Service Award and Molly Devanney of Highland Park Markets with the CFA Next Generation Leadership award. For more information about the dinner call 860.216.4055 or email them at

And while keeping with the news from the Nutmeg state, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Bozzuto’s 2018 Merchandising Marketplace which will take place September 11-12 at Foxwoods Resort Casino. This year’s edition is a little later than usual, and the two-day event is an opportunity for Bozzuto’s to show thanks and appreciation for their many valued relationships in the industry. It also provides a venue to network and learn about the latest trends and take advantage of deals on the showroom floor.


The team at Krasdale Foods and Alpha 1 Marketing have been keeping quite busy these last few months as we’ve learned that they have opened 28 new stores so far in 2018 and plan to add 18 more before the end of the year! A variety of banners make up the new store growth, with Extra Supermarkets joining in New Jersey, North Shore Farms on Long Island, Westside Markets in Manhattan, Compare & Save in Philadelphia and traditional C-Towns, Bravo and AIMs throughout the five boroughs. Dennis Wallin, vice president-business development at Alpha 1 Marketing, said, “We’re always looking to grow in all geographic areas with stable sites and qualified owners. We want each site to be successful and through our full range of innovative services we know we will be in it for long term growth.” As we learn of the new sites to come for the balance of the year we will pass them along. While we’re speaking of Krasdale Foods, don’t forget to mark your calendars for their annual selling show on September 18. For the first time, the big supplier will be leaving their backyard confines of Westchester County and the show will be held at Citi Field (home of the lowly Mets) in Flushing, NY.

A new ShopRite opened on Long Island at 601 Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma. The 45,000 square foot market is operated by Charles Gallagher and his family. The site, formerly a Waldbaum’s, underwent a massive renovation to make way for the new ShopRite with a convenient shopping format. The store was outfitted with the latest energy-saving and sustainable technologies, including LED lighting and environmentally friendly refrigerant systems. The parking lot was refreshed with newly installed landscaping and lighting. On offer are: a from-scratch bake shop with special occasion cakes and freshly made bread; meat department with trained butchers; a full-service seafood department with daily, fresh catch deliveries; a floral shop; full-service deli and prepared foods department with grab-and-go items, freshly prepared hot entrees, salad and olive bars, and made-to-order sandwiches. The store will also offer a large selection of organic, local and gluten-free foods and fresh produce. “We are very excited to bring ShopRite to Lake Ronkonkoma with the opening of this state-of-the-art shopping destination. The new supermarket will be dedicated to providing low prices and outstanding service to the local community,” said Gallagher, president of Gallagher Family Markets. The family also own and operate the ShopRite of Selden just five miles away. At the store opening ceremony, the Gallagher family and ShopRite Partners In Caring (ShopRite’s community-based, hunger-fighting initiative) made a $10,000 donation to Long Island Cares food bank.




Best wishes to Andrea Wexler as she has joined the A.J. Letizio Sales & Marketing firm. Andrea joins Letizio from Acosta Sales & Marketing and prior to that had been with ESM/Ferolie. When we learn more of the details about her responsibilities we will pass them along.

Jeff Toci has joined Dietz & Watson as an account manager in the Metro New York/New Jersey market. Jeff brings a wealth of experience from his years of work with A.J. Letizio, JOH, Stor-All Solutions and General Trading Company and I’m sure he will be an asset to D&W.

Kudos to the team at Porky Products on another successful selling show recently held at Citi Field. Although the weather was typical for a New York summer day – hot, humid and sticky- it didn’t stop hundreds of retailers from being on hand to seek out new products and deals, which were plentiful. While at the Porky show, I bumped into Wilson Estupiñán, formerly vice president of fresh foods at America’s Food Basket. Wilson told me that he is seeking opportunities to help best-in-class companies and/or brands to optimize processes to achieve efficiencies and accomplish excellence. He has 25 years of experience in the industry and a proven track record in business analysis. If anyone is looking for a top-notch bilingual candidate, you can contact me or reach out directly to Wilson at or 347.531.5705.

I was happy to hear that old friend Vince Mannese has been named vice president of sales at Classic Cake, a manufacturer of signature cakes, cookies and desserts out of its 38,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Philadelphia. Vince had been running his own consulting and brokerage company before joining Classic Cake, and prior to that had held executive positions with Lawler Foods and Mother’s Kitchens. Good luck, Vince!

Well, I hope you all enjoy what is left of the summer, and I look forward to seeing you out in the trade in the coming weeks. Have a terrific Labor Day weekend and as always you can reach me at 201.250.2217 or