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08/09/2022

Island Pacific Appoints CFO

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Island Pacific Market Herman Chiu Teaser

Filipino food grocery store chain Island Pacific has hired Herman S. Chiu to be the newest member of its executive team in the CFO role. Chiu brings more than 30 years of finance executive experience to the retailer.

After graduating from UCLA in 1989, Chiu began his career at accounting firm KPMG. Four years later, he took on the dual role of VP of finance and VP of technology at Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Harbor Distributing LLC, part of the largest beer distributorship conglomerate in the U.S. During his tenure, from 1993 to 2001, he streamlined and improved the efficiency of monthly financial reporting and was responsible for the vast network and information-reporting systems for all related organizations across the country.

In 2002, Chiu became CFO at Santa Monica Seafood, a multistate manufacturer of seafood products and a premier seafood distributor in the Southwest. In this role, he executed the company’s financial strategy, which led to the company's growth from $35 million to $500 million in revenue. Chiu also successfully centralized the banking function and leveraged technology to prevent fraud and improve the reconciliation process at the company. 

After 17 years at Santa Monica Seafood, Chiu joined Buena Park, Calif.-based Tawa Supermarket Inc., operator of 99 Ranch Market, the largest Asian supermarket chain in the U.S., to assist the CEO, given Tawa's complex organization and business structure consisting of multiple business units with varied operational objectives. While at Tawa, Chiu was an integral part of the executive team, thanks to his extensive experience in finance, accounting, taxation, corporate governance and risk management. 

“Island Pacific is thrilled to have Herman Chiu support our mission of promoting Filipino food and culture to the rest of the world,” the company said. “His more than three decades of executive leadership experience in various fields of finance and accounting is what Island Pacific needs to bring the company to the next level.”

City of Industry, Calif.-based Island Pacific operates 17 supermarkets serving communities in California and Las Vegas. 

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08/09/2022

Grocery Outlet Raises $2.5M During Independence from Hunger Campaign

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Grocery Outlet Raises $2.5M During Independence from Hunger Campaign

Extreme-value retailer Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has raised more than $2.5 million — the equivalent of approximately 1.25 million meals — during its 12th annual Independence from Hunger Food Drive campaign. From June 29 through July 31, more than 400 Grocery Outlet stores raised funds and collected monetary donations from customers, employees and independent operators to give back to local food agencies to help address critical food insecurities in their communities.

Grocery Outlet made a commitment more than a decade ago with the Independence from Hunger campaign to find solutions that ensure all families have access to high-quality meals. Since its launch in 2011, the campaign has collected more than $16 million in total donations nationwide.

Throughout the initiative, Grocery Outlet customers and employees were encouraged to contribute in the following ways:

• Purchasing pre-made food bags filled with an assortment of nonperishable items.
• Give $5, Get $5 at the register – donating $5 or more in a single transaction and receiving a $5 coupon.
• Contribution of a monetary donation through in-store and online platforms.

Each of Grocery Outlet's 400-plus stores identified local food agencies or nonprofits in their respective locations to partner with throughout the campaign. In addition, its San Francisco Bay Area partner, Alameda County Community Food Bank, received all donations completed online at GroceryOutlet.com/Donate. Other regional area partners such as Central Pennsylvania Food BankLos Angeles Regional Food Bank and Oregon Food Bank received generous donations from supplier partners such Campbell's, Kellogg's, Sanderson Farms, MW Polar and Nature's Bakery.

No administration or collateral fees were deducted from funds collected by Grocery Outlet.

Based in Emeryville, Calif., Grocery Outlet has stores in California, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada and New Jersey. The company is No. 70 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

08/09/2022

Earth Fare Lowers Prices on Pantry Essentials

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Earth Fare Store Teaser

To fight food insecurity, natural and organic grocery store chain Earth Fare is lowering prices on hundreds of grocery essentials.  

“At Earth Fare, we believe that shoppers shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health as a result of their grocery bill,” noted Laurie Aker, director of marketing at the Asheville, N.C.-based grocer, which operates more than 20 locations in eight states. “This is not a temporary sale, but rather a commitment to ensuring that our valued shoppers have access to clean, healthy foods.” 

The products offered under the reduced-price program are from Chesterfield, N.H.-based Field Day, and of the more than 200 items in the program, 196 are certified organic, and 123 are non-GMO items. In common with all products sold at Earth Fare, the items adhere to the store’s Boot List, a list of ingredients the store won’t sell, citing the unhealthy risks they pose when consumed. 

[Read more: "Earth Fare Signs on to Better Chicken Commitment"]

“At Earth Fare, our mission has always been to make healthy food more accessible to the communities we serve,” explained Earth Fare CEO Henry Kugler. “Most retailers are going the other way and raising prices. You can’t blame them: Margins are already thin, and wholesale and transportation costs have risen exponentially in the last year and don’t look to be slowing down. It is a challenge, but the best thing we can do to stay true to our mission is to provide an affordable, entry-level organic price point on pantry staples.”

The Clean Food Security campaign first rolled out at Earth Fare’s newest location, in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 27, and will reach all Earth Fare stores by mid-August. 

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08/09/2022

Sunrise ShopRite Names VP of Operations

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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.

08/08/2022

Wegmans Inches Closer to 2nd NYC Opening

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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.

08/08/2022

DoorDash Opens Applications for Accelerator for Local Goods in California

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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.