Five Food Retailers to Be Feted by NASFT

The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc., (NASFT) and Specialty Food Magazine have named their Outstanding Specialty Food Retailers of 2009: Straub’s of St. Louis, Mo; Taste Unlimited of Virginia Beach, Va; The Market and More of Casper, Wyo.; Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Woodstock Farmers’ Market of Woodstock, Vt.

A panel of specialty food experts, including previous Outstanding Retailer winners, manufacturers, distributors, and journalists, chose the honorees, which range from a single store to a chain founded over a century ago, were selected by a panel of specialty food experts.

“The winners are exceptional examples of the importance of creativity and dedication in specialty food retailing today,” said Ann Daw, president of New York-based NASFT. “Each retailer illustrates unique success in the specialty food business.” The awards, a gold chef statue, will be presented at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York next month at a special ceremony hosted by celebrity chef Ming Tsai.

Nominations for Outstanding Specialty Food Retailer were submitted by members of the trade group, and retailers with the most nominations were asked to complete applications including store photographs, press kits, media coverage, menus, newsletters, training manuals, promotional materials, and letters and comments from customers.

Following is further information about the award recipients:

Straub’s Market: Established in St. Louis in October 1901, the company is now owned and operated by Jack W. Straub Jr. and his son, J.W. “Trip” Straub III. Last year Straub’s opened a 40,000-square-foot store in Ellisville, Mo. (featured as the March 2009 Progressive Grocer Store of the Month), with a large kitchen, production bakery, and more than 120 employees. The retailer recently added a Culinary Center to host business events and cooking classes.

Taste Unlimited: Founded in 1973, the family-owned business has six locations throughout eastern Virginia, and is known for its sandwiches on fresh-baked bread and other signature products.

The Market & More: Juanita Jungck, owner of The Market & More and a culinary school graduate, opened her store in January 2008. The location combines a specialty market with a deli offering high-quality prepared foods reflecting cross-cultural cuisines and homey favorites.

Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli: This retailer is known for its distinctive regional Italian and southern European foods. Owner Tony Caputo and his son Matt introduce specialty foods from Italy, Spain, France and Greece, among them olive oils, pasta, vinegars, antipasti and olives. A high-tech cheese cave allows them to offer over 200 fresh cheeses. Additionally, the market’s signature sandwich, “The Caputo,” has won several awards.

Woodstock Farmers’ Market: Opened more than 15 years ago, the store carries prepared takeout dinners and lunches, fresh organic produce and such fresh items as meats, milk, eggs.

New York-based NASFT, which was established to foster trade, commerce and interest in the specialty food industry, now has more than 3,000 members in the United States and abroad.
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