Metro Beat

Welcome to the holiday season and I hope your registers are ringing and sales are moving along smoothly!

To start off this month I want to extend congratulations to a good friend, Mike Kelly, VP of GM/HBC procurement/merchandising at C&S Wholesale Grocers, as he has announced that he will be retiring on February 2, 2019. Mike has spent the last 16 years with C&S and has a combined 40-plus years in the grocery industry. Mike joined C&S in 2002 after working in various merchandising leadership roles for both Pathmark and Ahold USA. He held several positions within the C&S NJ grocery procurement group until 2007, when he accepted his current position. Mike was an integral part of fueling C&S’s GM/HBC significant growth during his time there and in the last few years added the responsibility of leading the Albertsons account team business. With Mike’s retirement the following people will directly report to Ray Schrumpf: Rick Cicero, senior director of GM/HBC merchandising; Greg Younger, senior director of GM/HBC procurement; and Frank Wesolowski, director of chain sales (Albertsons) will report directly to Ray Schrumpf. Mike was always available to assist his team as well as his customers and he always did so with a bit of his ol’ Irish charm. He is a Saint Joe’s University grad and proudly serves on the board of directors for the Academy of Food Marketing and will continue to do so. I’ve welcomed our conversations throughout the years and look forward to more. We wish Mike and his lovely bride Debbie all the best in their retirement as they “snowbird” to southwest Florida for part of the year and we’ll see them when they’re back in the area.

North Shore Farms opened their newest location (their eighth) at Whitestone Plaza on 10th Avenue in Whitestone, NY. The site is a former Waldbaum’s which North Shore acquired during the A&P bankruptcy proceedings. I remember that location as being one of the filthier Waldbaum’s around and believe me when I tell you that this new North Shore Farms site is a monumental difference from its prior composition. The supermarket occupies 24,000 square feet and features an abundance of locally sourced foods. Fresh seafood from Captain Joe’s, a huge meat department with on-site butcher, fresh pasta, an oversized cheese department including a fresh mozzarella section and a massive deli and prepared foods department are just some of the highlights of the new store.

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Among the many upgrades are new insulation systems, total refurbishment of the existing interior area (and exterior) and a full restoration of the parking lot. According to company spokesman George Tsiatis, “We pretty much had to replace everything inside the store, that includes wires and everything else. We really went through and had to change all of the electrical.” It really is an impressive store and should do very well.

Congratulations to Krasdale Foods’ VP/CMO Dennis Hickey and his wife Caroline as they had a very busy November. Their son Andy got married on November 9 and daughter Lindsey got engaged the following weekend. All the best!!!………

We were sorry to learn that Boyd Adelman, president of Sabrett Hot Dogs, died unexpectedly on December 2 at the age of 74. Boyd was the president of the company for more than 40 years. He attended law school and served as an adjutant general during the Vietnam War. He was an avid New York Giants football fan and enjoyed playing golf with as much passion. He was a fun loving man with a great sense of humor and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. He leaves behind his wife Laura; daughters Cori (and her husband Peter) Shifrin and Randi (and her husband Chaim) Koslovsky; and four grandchildren. Donations in his name may be made to the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Association. May his soul rest in peace.

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The long awaited Saker ShopRite of Shrewsbuy opened to massive crowds recently and it really is a magnificent store with 80,000 square feet of convenience, quality, freshness and great pricing awaiting customers as they walk into the store. “We are very excited to serve the Shrewsbury community with the opening of this state-of-the-art shopping destination,” said Richard Saker, president and CEO of Saker ShopRites, Inc. “We are proud of our great family of associates and strong connection to the communities where our stores operate. We live and work here and support local farmers, food producers and hundreds of community organizations.” While the store has that “World Class” ShopRite feel, the Shrewsbury location stands out for its vast hot food and deli provisions selection and an offering of hundreds of prepared entrees from both World Class Kitchens and Dearborn Farms behind an over 30 foot long glass deli/prepared food case. There is also a fresh pasta operation where customers can buy packaged pasta products like angel hair, macaroni and ravioli. Kobe beef is featured and can be ordered in the form of beef burgers, roast beef, corned beef and pastrami. All of this is offered under video screens that show mesmerizing kitchen videos from ShopRite chefs slicing and dicing, sautéing and baking, or piping icing into flower shapes onto beautiful little cakes for the boutique patisserie. “We import some of the finest ingredients from all over the world,” including chocolate from Belgium, said Saker. “We are just a cut above any bakery. Nobody does anything like we do.” If you’re traveling down the Garden State Parkway, hop off at exit 109 and go see this terrific location.

Congratulations to Mary Ellen Peppard of the New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) as it was announced that she has been promoted to vice president for her work representing food retailers, including supermarkets, independent grocers and convenience stores, as well as their supplier partners. “Mary Ellen has had a significant influence on our direction and mission. Her promotion to an executive position is fitting and well deserved,” said Linda Doherty, CEO of NJFC.

Associated Supermarket Group (ASG) held its annual holiday dinner at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, Long Island. Nearly 500 guests were on hand to celebrate 2018 and look forward to all that 2019 has to offer. ASG stated that they opened more than 20 new accounts in 2018 and have plans to aggressively secure more stores in the coming months. At the dinner, ASG recognized Bruno Corona as its retailer of the year. Bruno came to New York City in 1974 from the Domincan Republic and worked in a variety of jobs before joining with a few partners in the 1980s and opening a small bodega in St. Albans, Queens. In 1997 he was the sole proprietor of the bodega and dreamed of owning something a little bigger. In 2007, Bruno became the proud owner of the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue in Brooklyn and two years later added his second store, an Associated Supermarket nearby in Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. Bruno was on hand to receive the reward with his family and wife Teofila by his side. Congratulations!

Well that will about do it for now. I want to wish you all peace and joy for this Christmas season and prosperity and good health for the coming year. Thank you all for your support, comments and partnership during the year and I look forward to working with you all in the New Year! As always you can reach me at 201.250.2217 or kgallagher@best-met.com.