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Central Grocers Joins Topco as Member-owner

Central Grocers Inc. has joined cooperative Topco Associates LLC, expanding its retail, wholesale and foodservice companies’ membership.

“I am excited for this strong retailer-owned wholesaler to join our membership,” said Randy Skoda, president and CEO of Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Topco. “We look forward to partnering together to help Central Grocers fulfill their mission of serving the true independent grocer in their local market.”

Joliet, Ill.-based Central Grocers supplies independent banners in the Chicago area and northwest Indiana, including Strack & Van Til and Ultra Foods (both owned by Central), as well as Tony’s Finer Foods and Sunset Foods.

Full Transition by Early 2017

Central will participate in Topco’s grocery, dairy/bakery, meat, deli, produce and floral programs. Topco expects to have the wholesaler fully transitioned by first quarter of 2017.

“Central Grocers is pleased to join the Topco family,” said Ken Nemeth, president and CEO of Central Grocers. “Topco’s innovative approach to finding business solutions in the grocery industry will be of significant benefit to the members we serve in more than 500 independent grocery stores. We envision that their buying power will help us maintain customer-friendly pricing in our intensely competitive markets, while Topco’s expertise in quality assurance, packaging and sustainability will help us improve overall in-store efficiency.”  

Formed in 1917, Central Grocers Inc. has grown to become a $2 billion member-owned grocery wholesale cooperative. The wholesaler supplies more than 500 independent retailers in the Chicago area and northwest Indiana with groceries, produce, fresh meat, service deli items, frozen foods and ice cream, and is the exclusive distributor of the Centrella Brand.

Topco Associates LLC is a $15 billion, privately held company that provides aggregation, innovation and knowledge management solutions for its leading food industry member-owners and customers, including grocery retailers, wholesalers and foodservice suppliers. 


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