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.

Welcome to the Holiday Season! By the time you receive this edition of Food Trade News it will be Thanksgiving and hence, the Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s season will be right on top of us.

So here’s to hoping you all will enjoy the time with family, friends and associates during the festive time and your business flourishes as well!!!

Allegiance Retail Services, LLC, unveiled its newest banner when Green Way Markets opened on 20 North Salem Road in Cross River, Westchester County giving Allegiance its 113th store. This new concept will provide an innovative supermarket with an enhanced shopping experience and is a spectacular looking store. The store is owned and operated by the Estevez family. Green Way Markets provides a curated selection of prepared foods, produce, deli and fresh meats including Ranger’s Legend brand beef. The store also offers a large variety of domestic and imported cheeses, fresh baked breads and a wide selection of natural and organic items. Green Way Markets is proud to feature hundreds of private label Green Way products throughout the store, which are ‘good for you and good for your family.’ Customers can relax in the beautiful seating area while enjoying on-trend cuisine, like a made to order burger from the store’s burger bar and a cold craft or IPA beer.

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“We are looking forward to serving the consumer of northern Westchester County with all of the new features and services Green Way Markets has to offer. I would like to congratulate the entire Estevez family on the opening of their newest store,” said John T. Derderian, president and COO of Allegiance. For the third time since 2015, Nassau Candy Distributors will be expanding its facility in Hicksville, Long Island. The big candy and gourmet imported foods company wants to add 20,000 square feet to its headquarters and factory and will create an additional 40 jobs to its current roster of 560 employees.

It was a good month for the folks at JOH as industry recognitions abounded for some key executives at the big regional sales and marketing agency. Matt O’Hare, president and COO, was named the 2019 Emerging Leader at the Massachusetts Food Association Annual Hall of Fame dinner held at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. And Matt’s mom, Bobbi O’Hare, was surprised at the recent Network of Executive Women (NEW) Metro Chapter meeting in Garfield, NJ, when the group honored her with the inaugural Ellen Compesi Cornucopia award. The award was established to recognize efforts and service above and beyond on behalf of NEW. As a longtime supporter of the NEW Metro chapter, I can attest to Bobbi’s unwavering support for the organization and testify to her efforts from day one of the chapter. Congratulations Bobbi!! And lastly, Gary Rosenthal, EVP and general manager of JOH Metro, was named the Catholic Institute of the Food Industry’s (CIFI) Person of the Year. The big formal affair was held at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, NY and a huge crowd was on hand for the event. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and it was magnified even more because Gary is truly one of the real “mensches” in our industry. For a non-retailer to draw a crowd like that to an industry event, speaks volumes to the character of the individual, and Gary is absolutely at the top of that list. Congratulations Gary.

On the subject of the CIFI, Tom Bello asked me to pass along that the group will be holding the 2019 CIFI Night at the Races at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ on December 12. The fun evening will be held in the Banquet Room Sky Box and includes a buffet dinner. For more information contact Tom at 717-756-5114 or tbello@riviana.com.

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As mentioned earlier, the Network of Executive Women (NEW) NY Metro chapter held a 15th anniversary celebration meeting at The Venetian in Garfield, NJ. The unique concept of the evening featured three separate panels that all touched on the topic, “Advancing Women: Industry Influencers Share their Personal Journeys Through Past-Present-Future.” Bobbi O’Hare, VP of business development at JOH, and Cheryl Williams, CIO at Wakefern Food Corporation, kicked off the program, followed by Dennis Curran, chief commercial officer at GSK, and Andy Dunn, CEO of Bonobos, who addressed the “Present” and how men can be allies to women in the industry. The final panel addressed the future and featured Piyush Jain of Unilever, Kara Jordan of ZX-Ventures and Paige Rotondo of PepsiCo. Overall it was a really successful evening for NEW and here’s hoping they continue to offer innovative and informative events.

And finally, while mentioning strong and influential women, I wanted to take a little personal space here and say a final farewell to my own mother Winifred Gallagher, who passed away on November 17. I wish I could say that she died peacefully, but that was not the case, as she suffered pretty badly her last few weeks. I truly understand now what it means to say, “She is in a better place,” because I believe that with all my heart. She was a terrific woman and I I could go on about her forever, and above anything else was her unconditional love for her children, family and friends. She was fair, faithful, extremely hard working and taught my brothers, sister and me all about living the Golden Rule every day of your life, which would make sure good things would follow. However, we were also always impressed by those times when we were younger and “not so golden” that her cat-like reflexes with the wooden spoon could always put us right back in line. 😉  She never bragged or boasted about herself her entire life, but instead chose to support, encourage and love those around her and enjoy the times we shared together. So in the words of Jerry Garcia, “There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, And if you go no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone.” I’ll miss you mom. Give Pop a big hug and kiss from me and the kids, and I take great comfort knowing that you and Dad will always be watching over us.

As always you can reach me at kevin@foodtradenews.com or 201.250.2217.