Metro Beat

Kevin is VP at Food Trade News with primary responsibility for covering the Metro NY/NJ and New England markets. He has more than 30 years of experience on the CPG side of the retail food business and in media. He can be reached at

Congratulations to all at the National Supermarket Association on their recent NSA trade show held at Resorts World Casino in Queens, NY. A few short years ago, many industry observers felt the show was teetering and really did not offer much, especially when compared to the proliferation of customer and vendor shows that dot the landscape. However, over the last couple of years, with a renewed effort and emphasis lead by NSA president Rudy Fuertes, the group has truly turned the show around. The majority of the membership shows up at the venue, which goes a long way in pleasing the exhibitor base and allows for the interface of customer and vendor. Beyond that basic philosophic norm of trade relations, the increased attendance along with the networking opportunities are significant. I had the chance to speak with many of the NSA board members including, Jose Luis Almonte, Anthony Pena, Jenny Jorge and Sam Collado and the consensus was that NSA trade show is well on the way to evolving into one of the preeminent industry events due to those networking opportunities with independent owner/operators that represent over 400 supermarkets. Well done ladies and gentlemen!

And while speaking of the NSA, don’t forget to mark your calendars for their 29th annual gala which will be held November 10 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The evening will recognize Jhonny Urena with the Eligio Pena member of the year award, and Porky Products with the company of the year. For more information on the gala call 718.747.2860 or email

And while we are talking about big events, we ran into Wayne Pesce, president of Connecticut Food Association (CFA) who reminded us that it’s not too late to secure tickets to the organization’s person of the year banquet on October 18 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. This year’s honoree is Tracy Moore, senior vice president of procurement and merchandising at C&S Wholesale Grocers and the event promises to be a sellout. For more information contact the CFA at 860.216.4055 or


We were sorry to learn that one of the old local retailing icons Bob Trunz passed away in late August at the age of 83. Bob was the former president of Trunz Food Stores which was started by his grandfather Max Trunz in 1904 as a pork store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and eventually grew to 85 Trunz stores spread out over Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. (The last of the Trunz Food Stores closed in Port Washington in 2005). Bob is survived by his wife Gail, five children, Robert Jr. (Anne), Gregory (Jean), Christina, Warren (Wendy) and Paul. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

And while we were getting ready to go to press I learned of the passing of Jerry Mendel. Jerry was a longtime food broker who specialized in perishable food representation, especially in deli and meat.

While he spent many years most recently with ESM-Ferolie and MPS, he also touched many different brokerage companies with his knowledge and expertise during his career. Unfortunately, he suffered during the last two years of his life with acute kidney problems. Anyone wishing to send condolences to his family may do so to Rebecca Mendel, 400 High Point Drive, Apt 211, Hartsdale, NY 10530. May he rest in peace.


After more than 50 years in the Bronx, Safeguard Chemical has moved its offices and warehouse to Garden City, Long Island at 65 Commercial Avenue. Bruce Sohn, vice president at the company, told us that with Safeguard’s growth in new products, importing/exporting and the opening new markets it was time to make a move. The new facility will house executive offices, state-of-the-art conference and show rooms, ecommerce offices and a modern warehouse facility. The company has added more than 30 new items over the last year in insecticides, powders, cleaning products and traps as well as adding a line of Natural products. Their phone # remains the same at 800.536.3170.

Congratulations to an old friend of mine, Lou Biscotti of Marcum LLC, on the successful launch of Marcum’s inaugural Food & Beverage Summit. I have known Lou for more than 15 years since his days at his own firm Biscotti, Toback & Company which he sold to WeiserMazars (now MazarsUSA) in 2012. While at Biscotti, Lou put together the first of the summits, which bring together the best and brightest food and beverage executives for an evening of networking and information exchange. He brought the event along to Mazars and the summits were so successful they spread into the other regions served by the firms Lou had been with (and regularly have a “who’s- who” list of guest attendees). When Lou joined Marcum in early 2018, he took the concept along with him and by all accounts the inaugural event was a big success. Well done!

Congratulations to Allegiance Retail Services on the addition of the Gristedes business to its portfolio. The 23 Gristede’s supermarkets will push Allegiance’s store count of stores serviced over the century mark to a total of 120. John Catsimatidis, Red Apple Group’s chairman and CEO (Gristede’s parent) said, “Strategically aligning the Gristedes business with Allegiance in the New York market positions us to improve our offerings and further increases our ability to be the Neighborhood Grocer for all New Yorkers.” Gristedes will look to enhance its product line to better meet the needs of today’s consumers by offering the Green Way Natural and Organic line of products, and an enhanced selection of local favorite items to meet each of their specific neighborhoods’ needs. “Helping businesses serve local customers has been at the heart of our operation since our inception,” said John Derderian, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance. “The addition of Gristedes to the Allegiance Retail Services family of cooperative grocers further supports our intelligent growth strategy.”

The Network of Executive Women-New York Metro chapter will be hosting a big event on October 29 at PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, NY. The evening will feature a conversation with Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO PepsiCo, and will be moderated by Cheryl Williams, CIO at Wakefern Food Corporation. Additionally, there will be a special presentation by Mark McGowan, president of The Stop & Shop Company. Sounds like a special evening and for info go to

Well that’s about it for now everyone. Lots of dinners, banquets, conferences, outings and events coming up over the next few weeks and I hope to see you out and about. As always, please feel free to reach me at 201.250.2217 or