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 kevin@foodtradenews.com.

Hello everyone and in case you haven’t heard…..it’s baaack…..Pathmark!! One of the big venerable retailers of the metro New York landscape has emerged again on Albany Avenue in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. As many of you are aware, Allegiance Retail Services acquired the intellectual property of Pathmark, including the Pathmark logo, trademarks, brand name, pathmark.com domain, and all other intellectual property associated with the Pathmark name back in January of 2016. After the purchase, Allegiance Retail Services began a brand review and market analysis, then developed a business plan and refined the format’s operating principles. Additionally, Allegiance established guidelines related to a “go-to-market” operating strategy, physical requirements and the experience needed to potentially be designated a Pathmark operator. PSK Supermarkets, and the Katz family (Sydney, Noah and Daniel) checked off all of those boxes and are eager to add the Pathmark store to their other 12 stores in the metro area.

The 49,000 square foot store will be in the exact spot where the original Pathmark was before being closed by the A&P bankruptcy in 2015. Allegiance Retail Services and PSK Supermarkets will be putting the name back in the neighborhood. “When people walk into this store, it’s going to be like going back in time, like, ‘Wow I remember this’ and that’s what the return of Pathmark is all about”, said John Derderian, president of Allegiance Retail Services. And John should know, being a former 33 year Pathmark veteran. He added, “We all know what Pathmark’s strengths were — wide variety, great promotions and a strong in-stock position — and we’re going to contemporize that. Customers have obviously gone toward digital as well as to heat-and-eat and prepared foods, natural and organic, and more ethnic tastes. So we’ve tried to add all of that to what Pathmark was known for.” 

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Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets said, “The store itself was successful, although the corporate entity wasn’t, and we think that the demographics here really align with what the Pathmark brand stands for.” “Shoppers will soon enjoy low grocery prices, friendly faces, plenty of parking and community ties that made the company great,” the grocer announced on its website. “The store on Albany Avenue will feature value, competitive, low grocery prices, a fully remodeled store and a large parking lot. The store will have the exact look and feel from the iconic Pathmark brand that shoppers remember from years ago.” Some of the store improvements will include a large fresh fruit and vegetable department, a fresh bakery, a fresh seafood and meat department, a large health and beauty care section, an extensive variety of Caribbean and ethnic food as well as an eclectic assortment of beers, the retailer announced. Pathmark will also offer online shopping for pick up or delivery. As an old vendor who once called on Pathmark many, many years ago, I can’t wait to see how this one will fare and after the personal viewing, and seeing the community turnout, I really think this could be the start of something good for PSK and Allegiance. 

Krasdale Foods held its inaugural annual ladies luncheon and casino event at The Chart House restaurant in WeehawkinNJ in concert with International Women’s Day to honor its female store owners and businesswomen in the retail food industry. The event brought together store owners, store employees, suppliers and vendors for a fun and charitable afternoon. All proceeds from the event went to WIN (Women in Need) and its mission to help New York’s homeless women and their children rebuild their lives. “We have always made it a priority to highlight the outstanding women at Krasdale,” said  Dylana Silverdirector of marketing at Alpha I Marketing, an affiliate of Krasdale Foods Inc. “While we celebrate women every day at Krasdale, this specific day provides us an opportunity to come together for a good cause.” Guests at the event had an opportunity to gamble with play money, redeemable for raffle tickets for chances to win Broadway tickets, jewelry, gift cards and more. The event fits with Krasdale’s ongoing mission to nurture young women and help them develop into successful businesswomen. For the past three years, Krasdale has participated in Her Honor, a mentoring program that offers paid internships to seniors at White Plains High School. By working with mentors at the company’s corporate headquarters, the young women learn the skills to succeed at college and beyond…..well done to all involved! 

Wheard from our old friend Brian Todd of The Food Institute, who tells us that their newly revamped Food Business Mergers & Acquisitions 2018 report is available and provides detailed analysis on the mergers and acquisitions recorded in 2018 in an easy to digest format. The workbook is organized into over 25 categories and is a valuable resource for exploring trends in specific industries or international markets, comparing the past year’s deals with historical data. The guide also comes with a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind Excel file, listing every single merger in the industry in the past year, organized by category and completely searchable and sortable. To order your copy call 201-791-5570 or email questions@foodinstitute.com. 

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Be sure to mark your calendars for a terrific event that really takes caring to a new level. May 20 is the date of the 7th annual cocktail party for the Friends of the Food Industry (F.O.F.I.). The meeting will take place once again at the Hackensack golf club in Oradell, NJ and this year the group will be honoring Larry Inserra Jr., CEO of Inserra Supermarkets, and will also extend Lifetime Achievement awards to Rich Desimone (formerly of Krasdale Foods), Tony Gasparro (formerly A&P) and Jen Kemp (Acosta). FOFI was established in March 2013 when a group of Food Industry “friends and business associates” decided to create an organization whose sole purpose is to help individuals and families within the industry that are in financial straits. To date over the six years of existence, F.O.F.I. has raised over $750,000 which has helped numerous families in the food industry. The group is a licensed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all funds are disbursed to families in need or who have fallen on difficult times. All funds are raised through this once a year party so again, please mark your calendars and for information you can email FOFI at friendsofthefoodindustry@gmail.comI hope to see you there! 

Before we leave for this month, word on the street was that Rich French will be joining Key Food Stores as vice president of customer development. The new position will start toward the end of April. Rich joins Key Food from his long tenured position as vice president sales-Metro NY at Acosta Sales & Marketing. Although Rich will be jumping to the other side of the desk, I believe it’s a great hire for Key Foods’ Dean Janeway, CEO, and George Knobloch, COO. Frenchie is one of those hard working guys that is just genuinely likeable. His charisma, personality and work ethic are always well received by everyone he encounters, and I’m sure it will work just as well at the big co-operative. He will be working alongside vice president of business development John Durante, who will be showing Frenchie the ropes of working on the retailer side of the food industry. All the best Frenchie! 

Well that will do it for now. Glad to see the warm weather is here to stay for the balance of the Spring, and hopefully that will bring all of you out and about and hope I see you at some of the many events taking place over the next several weeks. As always you can reach me at kgallagher@best-met.com or 201.250.2217.