MI Grocers Honor Top Retailer, Partner

The Michigan Grocers Association (MGA) has presented its inaugural Al Kessel Outstanding Achievement Awards to Fred Angeli of Iron River-based Angeli Foods and Spartan Stores Inc. of Grand Rapids.

MGA created the awards to honor the memory of former grocer and MGA member Al Kessel Jr., founder of Kessel Food Markets, which served Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Corunna from 1981 to 2000. Kessel died last December.

"To reflect his generous spirit, the awards recognize the company, industry and community achievements of one outstanding retailer and one outstanding business partner," said MGA president and CEO Linda M. Gobler.

Nominees were reviewed and winners were selected Aug. 6 by a 12-member MGA committee.

The 2013 Outstanding Retailer, Fred Angeli, is a third-generation retailer who owns three grocery stores in Menominee and Iron River, Mich., and Marinette, Wis., employing more than 350 people. The Angeli family has been in the food business for 96 years, and Fred has helped grow the company into a successful regional business. He was nominated by Al Kessel’s son, James, who works for MGA member Kessel Enterprises, which operates Save-A-Lot and Pet Supplies Plus stores in the Flint-Saginaw area.

“While Angeli Foods has a long list of community commitments, James put it best when he said, ‘Angeli’s is the community!’” Gobler said. “Fred has earned the respect and admiration from his community, colleagues and the entire food industry. His passion and dedication make his selection a well-deserved acknowledgment.”

The 2013 Outstanding Business Partner is Spartan Stores’ “entire team of associates,” as nominated by MGA member Bill McDonough of McDonough’s Market on Beaver Island.

Bill hails Spartan Stores because, “as individuals and as a team, Spartan Stores’ associates and their company have won many local, state, and national awards and recognition,” he said. “As well as contributing in a professional manner to the entire grocery industry, as a team they demonstrate the qualities and contributions we all must accomplish to earn respect, loyalty, confidence, integrity and longevity.”

Dating back to 1917, Spartan was recognized in 2013 by Forbes as one of America’s 100 Most Trustworthy Companies. Spartan operates 101 supermarkets, supplies 390 independent grocery locations and employs more than 8,700 associates. As a good corporate citizen, Spartan is known for feeding hungry families, giving children the opportunity to improve their reading skills, filling prescriptions for free medications, and treating senior citizens to a hot holiday meal.

“They are certainly deserving of receiving this important award,” Gobler said.

The awards will be presented at the MGA Fall Conference and Trade Show on Sept. 15 at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Mich.

In its 115th year, the Michigan Grocers Association is the voice of the state’s supermarket and grocery industry, representing more than 700 leading chain and independent retail stores and nearly 100 manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.

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