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07/22/2022

Idaho Indie Grocer Launches Online SNAP Payments

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Broulim's

Broulim’s Fresh Foods, which serves shoppers in eastern Idaho and Wyoming, will officially begin accepting Supplement Nutritional Assistant Program (SNAP) payments online. The service will initially be available to customers in Idaho and will be powered by Broulim’s e-commerce platform Rosie.

“It is crucial that we offer our customers options when it comes to their online shopping experience,” said Robert Broulim, president of St. Rigby, Idaho-based Broulim’s Fresh Foods. “The opportunity to offer SNAP online removes financial barriers for families in our community, allowing all individuals to access healthy quality products.”

Some 34,000 Idaho households and 85,000 individual Idahoans use SNAP benefits each day, and more than 77% of SNAP participants are in families with children.

“Online grocery shopping is an essential part of our everyday lives and we at Rosie believe it is essential for independent grocers to have the tools they need to provide solutions to the underserved in their community, and compete and win against national chains,” said Haley Sammis, head of account management at Ithaca, N.Y.-based Rosie. “We’re incredibly proud to be part of a program that is impacting hundreds of thousands of SNAP recipients nationwide."

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07/22/2022

Whole Foods Market Reveals 3rd New Opening for August

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whole foods

Whole Foods Market will open a new 54,667-square-foot store, located at Penn Plaza (5700 Penn Avenue) in Pittsburgh on Aug. 10. The store will serve as a relocation of the existing Pittsburgh store (5880 Centre Avenue), which has served the community for more than 20 years.

The new store’s modern industrial design is inspired by Pittsburgh’s many bridges, with vibrant colors, arches and steel rods painted throughout the store, and a mural dedicated to the city. The new location’s product assortment features 120 Pennsylvania suppliers, with products handpicked by Kathleen Wood and Daniela D’Ambrosio, local foragers for Whole Foods Market’s Mid-Atlantic Region. Local options include salad kits from Fifth Season, PHL Dark Pennsylvania Dutch Pretzel Bar from Éclat Chocolate, Perpetual IPA from Tröegs Independent Brewing, and breads from Mediterra.

A full-service coffee bar will offer coffee, lattes, cold brew and tea. Seasonal summer drinks include Mint Matcha Lemonade and Peach Oolong Tea.

Customers who stop by the new store on opening morning can enjoy complimentary Steel Cup Coffee and snacks from Zaza’s Biscotti. The first 400 customers will receive a gift card valued at between $5 and $100 and a Whole Foods Market Penn Plaza tote bag. The store will also host a Community Cares donation event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET on opening day with donation partner 412 Food Rescue, with the aim of donating food to community members in need.

In addition to the Pittsburgh location, Whole Foods will open a new store in Culver City, Calif., on Aug. 10 and one in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Aug. 17.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100,  Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

07/21/2022

Amazon to Acquire One Medical

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Amazon Care Teaser

Amazon and One Medical, a human-centered, technology-powered national primary care organization, have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire One Medical.

“We think health care is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention,” said Neil Lindsay, SVP of Amazon Health Services. “Booking an appointment, waiting weeks or even months to be seen, taking time off work, driving to a clinic, finding a parking spot, waiting in the waiting room, then the exam room for what is too often a rushed few minutes with a doctor, then making another trip to a pharmacy – we see lots of opportunity to both improve the quality of the experience and give people back valuable time in their days. We love inventing to make what should be easy easier, and we want to be one of the companies that helps dramatically improve the health care experience over the next several years. Together with One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered approach to health care, we believe we can and will help more people get better care, when and how they need it. We look forward to delivering on that long-term mission.”

“The opportunity to transform health care and improve outcomes by combining One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered model and exceptional team with Amazon’s customer obsession, history of invention, and willingness to invest in the long-term is so exciting,” noted Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of San Francisco-based One Medical. “There is an immense opportunity to make the health care experience more accessible, affordable and even enjoyable for patients, providers and payers.”

Amazon will acquire One Medical for $18 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at about $3.9 billion, including One Medical’s net debt. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by One Medical’s shareholders and regulatory approval. Once the deal is completed, Rubin will remain as One Medical CEO.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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07/21/2022

More Store Openings for Amazon Fresh

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Amazon fresh teaser

Another week, another round of brick-and-mortar store openings for Amazon. Two new Amazon Fresh grocery stores are now serving shoppers on both coasts, bringing the total number of U.S. locations to 39.

The first Amazon Fresh store in the state of New Jersey, located in Paramus at 30 E. Ridgewood Ave., opened this week. The 40,000-square-foot store is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Amazon also unveiled a location in Encino, Calif., at 16325 Ventura Blvd. Coming in at 44,000 square feet, this site is northwest of Los Angeles and not far from a Gelson’s store.

Customers can enjoy a frictionless experience at both sites with Amazon’s Just Walk Out shopping technology that allows them to skip checkout. As with other Amazon Fresh stores, the new locations offer a broad assortment of competitively-priced groceries and prepared foods, from made-to-order pizzas to brisket panini sandwiches.

Starting wages are $15 an hour for workers at the Paramus store and $16.40 for California employees. In addition to providing local jobs, Amazon is supporting its new communities by donating surplus food to nearby food banks.

Amazon is on a roll with store openings. Already this summer, the omnichannel retail business added new stores in North Riverside, Ill. near Chicago, Oceanside, N.Y. in Long Island, Arlington, Va., close to Washington, D.C. and Manassas, Va.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

07/21/2022

Larger-Format Kwik Trip Opens in Wisconsin

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Kwik Trip

Shoppers at a Kwik Trip in Wisconsin can still get in and out fast, but can get more items while there. The La Crosse, Wis.-based convenience store business recently opened a new larger-format store in its hometown with a greater assortment of groceries, in addition to other amenities.

The store at 922 Ward Street spans 9,000 square feet, making it among the biggest Kwik Trip locations. In addition to a grocery area, this Kwik Trip offers an array of foodservice items prepared in the larger kitchen space and includes a car wash, 20 fuel pumps and a separate area for diesel fueling.

“It’s a new concept for us,” spokesperson Steve Wrobel told a local media outlet. “There will be more volume of selection and a different browsing environment.”

The c-store welcomed shoppers during an official ribbon-cutting ceremony this week. To mark the occasion, Kwik Trip donated $1,000 to local police and fire departments.

07/21/2022

Gem City Market Refrigeration Project Wins Award

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Environment+Energy Leader Award 2022 Teaser

A project in which Emerson, Hussman and Chemours donated sustainable refrigeration technologies to Gem City Market Community Food Co-op, an independent grocer opening in a food desert in Dayton, Ohio, has received recognition as part of the 10th annual Environment+Energy Leader Awards program. The awards, revealed July 19 during the Fort Collins, Colo.-based publication’s annual Solutions Summit, honor recipients for exemplary work in the fields of energy and environmental management. The award category was Top Project of the Year.

Open since May 2021, Gem City Market is a Dayton Foundation cooperative market initiative created to help address food insecurity in downtown Dayton. A large portion of the market’s 8,000-square-foot retail space requires medium- and low-temperature refrigeration, so the system was a focal point for supporting Gem City Market’s environmental responsibility, long-term energy savings, low operating costs and ease of maintenance.

For the project, Emerson, Hussmann and Chemours integrated their individual areas of expertise. Emerson donated its Copeland scroll booster refrigeration architecture, the first technology to be commercially developed from Emerson’s Helix Innovation Center. Copeland scroll booster technology allows Gem City Market to combine a low-pressure, lower global-warming potential (GWP) refrigerant with a distributed architecture, which is an alternative to large, centralized systems. Additionally, Bridgeton, Mo.-based Hussman contributed an assembled refrigeration system and Wilmington, Del.-based Chemours provided lower-GWP A1 refrigerant Opteon XP10 (R-513A).

“Working to address food insecurity reinforces Emerson’s company purpose: We drive innovation that makes the world healthier, safer, smarter and more sustainable,” said Rajan Rajendran, global VP environmental sustainability of St. Louis-based Emerson’s Commercial and Residential Solutions business. “We are proud to be recognized with others in our industry for this project, which highlights an inventive architecture that is making advanced refrigeration solutions accessible for operators of small-format retail stores who want to make the transition to more sustainable refrigeration options.” 

Last year, Gem City Market, which was featured in Progressive Grocer’s July 2021 print issue and online for its innovative retail concept, also received a $100,000 donation of foodservice equipment, training and support from Eaton, Ohio-based Henny Penny Corp.