News Briefs


Sunrise ShopRite Names VP of Operations

ShopRite Logo Teaser

SunriseShopRite Inc., a family-owned company that operates New Jersey's ShopRite of Parsippany and the ShopRite of West Caldwell, has appointed Mike Jacob VP of operations. In his new role Jacob, a Pennsylvania resident with more than three decades in the grocery industry, will oversee operations for both supermarkets, as well as the company’s free-standing liquor stores.

“I am thrilled that Mike is joining Sunrise ShopRite as a key member of our leadership team,” said Dara Sblendorio, president of West Caldwell-based SunriseShopRite Inc. “His commitment to community and associates is in keeping with our traditions. We look forward to working with Mike to provide the best possible shopping experiences at our stores.”

Previously, Jacob worked as a special projects manager at Wakefern Food Corp., the supermarket retailer-owned cooperative and distribution and merchandising arm for ShopRite stores, working closely with Wakefern members and their store teams on retail operations. He was also a ShopRite store director overseeing hundreds of associates and operations at a top-performing location.

Sblendorio’s great-grandfather opened Sunrise Market in 1940 in Caldwell. Her family joined the Wakefern cooperative in 1951. Ned Gladstein, Sblendorio’s father, became president of Sunrise ShopRite in 1982 and is now advisor and CFO. Sblendorio has been president since 2017, and her husband, Frank, is manager of the ShopRite of Parsippany.

“It really is a family operation, and we welcome Mike to our family,” added Sblendorio. “Mike’s knowledge and experience will be important as we continue to build our strong team culture, elevate our shopping experiences and grow our business.”

Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern comprises more than 40 members that independently own and operate 360-plus supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people. The company is No. 25 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Wegmans Inches Closer to 2nd NYC Opening

Wegmans Inches Closer to 2nd NYC Opening

Wegmans Food Markets has begun hiring and training full-time employees for its Astor Place supermarket in Manhattan, which marks its second location in New York City. The store will open at 770 Broadway in the latter half of 2023, and employ more than 500 people, including 200 full-time associates.

Full-time positions include entry-level management, customer service, overnight grocery, culinary roles and more. The grocer will begin hiring for part-time associates early next year.

Features of the Astor Place store will include a Wegmans Food Hall with fresh sushi, pizza, made-to-order salads and sandwiches, and more. Hot and cold self-serve stations and traditional departments like produce, meat and seafood, along with grocery, dairy, and frozen food aisles, will also be available to shoppers.

“When Wegmans opened in Brooklyn several years ago, their commitment to local hiring and their engagement with the surrounding community was inspiring. With hiring now starting for the Manhattan store, we have no doubt that their new neighbors will similarly find Wegmans to be a great community partner,” said Darold Burgess, president of the Ingersoll Houses Residents Association, and Isabella Lee, former president of the Walt Whitman Tenants Association.

Family-owned Wegmans operates over 100 stores located along the east coast. The Rochester, N.Y.-based company is No. 34 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


DoorDash Opens Applications for Accelerator for Local Goods in California

DashMart Teaser

DoorDash has teamed with mission-driven advisor firm Next Street to issue a call for applications for the California cohort of the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods. The accelerator is an educational program created to advance CPG businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants or people of color. 

Through the program, DoorDash aims to provide local entrepreneurs with critical resources, education and funding to bring their products to market for distribution through DashMart, a DoorDash-owned and -operated grocery and convenience store. Beginning in October, the accelerator consists of a live, self-guided six-week educational program created in partnership with New York- and Chicago-based Next Street, with each participant receiving a $5,000 grant to support their business needs, plus access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash, and the opportunity to sell their products via DashMart. 

“Through the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, we are committed to empowering local business owners with the educational resources and financial capital to become wholesale-ready and bring their products into communities and homes across the country,” noted Tasia Hawkins, social impact program lead at San Francisco-based DoorDash

The California cohort builds on the inaugural iteration of DoorDash’s Local Goods Accelerator, which provided the same grants and curriculum to local businesses in Chicago, New York, and the greater Washington, D.C., area. 

Applications will be accepted from Aug. 8 through Aug. 26. Eligible entrepreneurs must live in and be actively operating their CPG business in California, have been in business for at least two years, have 30 or fewer employees, and have generated under $1 million in revenue in fiscal year 2021. They don’t need to have an existing partnership with DoorDash to apply, and existing partnerships with DoorDash aren’t considered in the application process. 


Toshiba's Retail Group to Open Tech Hub in Texas

Toshiba teaser

Addressing changes and opportunities across the omnichannel environment, Toshiba is opening a new tech hub in north Texas. Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions announced that it is expanding its footprint in the hotbed area of Frisco, Texas, to fuel innovations and “reimagine the store of the future.”

According to company information, Toshiba’s innovation and incubation hub is strategically located for rapid connections to its other development centers in Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Guadalajara, Mexico; Singapore; Taipei, Tokyo; and cities across Europe. The site will be powered by new investments in cloud development, computer vision and retail IoT. Toshiba also plans to collaborate with more tech partners on innovations and expand its internal team to work on mergers and acquisitions.

Earlier this year, the company introduced the latest version of its Elera commerce platform designed to accelerate retailers’ digital transformation and support the connected store experience. The company also developed a hybrid kiosk for faster, easier grocery shopping experiences.

[Read more: "Int'l Grocery Industry Taps into Global Move for Smart Checkout"]

"While many tech companies are cutting back, we are investing significantly and expanding to meet new demand created by our commerce platform recognized for accelerating digital transformation to deliver an exceptional retail experience,” said President and CEO Rance Poehler.

Added Mike Yeung, EVP and chief technology officer: "Part of our strategy includes engaging emerging startups in the region to expand our ecosystem. Our investments in IoT, data analytics and computer vision enable retailers to provide a consistent, compelling experience for consumers, whether they shop in-store, at curbside, on their mobile device, or at home."


Sprouts Farmers Market to Open New Location Inside Retirement Community

Sprouts Shares Q1 Earnings Report, Sustainability Progress

A new Sprouts Farmers Market is going up at one of the country’s most well-known retirement communities. The Villages in Sumter County, Fla., a master-planned 55-plus neighborhood with an estimated population close to 85,000, announced the addition of the fresh, natural and organic grocery store at the corner of Buena Vista Boulevard and County Road 466.

The Sprouts store is expected to open in early 2022. In its announcement, The Villages noted that the retailer will welcome customers “at the height of snowbird season.”

It’s been a busy construction year for Sprouts throughout Florida. The Arizona-based retailer is finishing up another location at 1800 NE Pine Island in Cape Coral, Fla., for a planned Oct. 7 grand opening. Ahead of that, the retailer is hosting a virtual management hiring event on Aug. 12 and an in-person hiring event on Aug. 23 at the Crowne Plaza in Fort Myers.

Earlier this summer, Sprouts welcomed shoppers to a new store in Apopka, Fla.  That 28,000-square-foot store is located at 2283 E. Semoran Boulevard in the greater Orlando area.

Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market employs approximately 31,000 associates and is No. 53 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Forage Gets $22M in Backing to Expand EBT SNAP Service

Forage Gets $22M in Backing to Expand EBT SNAP Service

Payment tech company Forage is upping its capabilities to expand online SNAP access to consumers around the country. The company announced that it secured $22 million in Series A funding to ramp up its product development and internal hiring, enabling it to offer more digital government assistance for grocery purchases.

Investors in this latest round include fintech specialist firm Nyca, PayPal Ventures, EO Ventures and the founder of Instacart, Apoorva Mehta.

“This capital will help accelerate Forage’s mission to democratize access to government benefits. We’re proud of the technology we’ve built and are excited to expand the acceptance of SNAP EBT payments online for low-income Americans,” remarked Ofek Lavian, Forage’s co-founder and CEO.

Forage will use the fresh capital to broaden its in-house team of EBT and payments experts who work closely with retailers to guide them throughout the USDA approval process. As the company pursues new growth and opportunities, it has improved its services in other ways, such as the recent addition of the first Shopify app that offers digital EBT payment processing to Shopify’s partner merchants.  

"Forage is tackling a critical problem for consumers and merchants as more groceries are bought online,” said Tom Brown, a partner at Nyca Partners. “Nyca is excited to back the incredible team on their mission of making it as easy for eligible merchants to accept EBT as any other form of payment.”