News Briefs


Fresh Thyme Features Tiesta Tea Kiosk at All Stores

Tiesta Tea Tea-Osk Fresh Thyme Market Teaser

Fresh Thyme Market has rolled out a kiosk highlighting the premium loose teas of Tiesta Tea in all 71 of the food retailer’s stores across 10 states. Found in the bulk foods section, the Tea-Osk offers a selection of bulk loose-leaf teas that can be purchased by the ounce, as well as a wide selection of tea infusers, loose-leaf teas in reusable tea canisters, and matcha green tea sourced directly from Japan.

“Fresh Thyme Market is the Midwest’s grocery leader in natural product assortment,” said Patrick Tannous, president and co-founder of Chicago-based Tiesta. “With the recent decline of retail stores solely focused on premium tea, we are excited to offer the Fresh Thyme shopper direct access to a premium tea experience in their own local grocery store, and to offer a great value in comparison to stand-alone tea stores.” 

“Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households,” noted Robert Abdee, category manager at Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme, which is No. 91 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. “The cold-weather months in the Midwest make tea a great product to warm our guests. Our partnership with Tiesta Tea shows our commitment to both premium tea and strong partnerships with locally owned Midwest companies.” 


FARE, Sifter Team on Grocery Shopping Tech for Food Allergy Community

FARE Sifter Teaser

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), a nonprofit engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research, and Sifter SP Inc., a provider of food and nutrition digital technology, have joined forces to help make grocery shopping easier and less time-consuming for the more than 85 million Americans with food allergies and intolerances.

Using Sifter’s science-based shopping platform, food-allergic individuals and families can make better food decisions and save hours of time when grocery shopping. The partnership also recognizes that many people with food allergies are also living with other diet-related health conditions. Sifter’s platform, available on the FARE homepage, will enable a consumer with complex diet needs — for instance, a dairy intolerance, a nut allergy and diabetes — to identify a wider variety of appropriate foods when shopping online or in-store.

[Read more: "Sifter Snags $5M in Funding"]

Created by a team of Sifter nutrition experts and software developers, the platform is powered by algorithms that support dietary standards of practice.

“Grocery shopping for members of the food allergy community has always been challenging due to the scrutiny necessary in reading ingredient labels,” said Sung Poblete, CEO of McLean, Va.-based FARE. “With the technology behind Sifter’s new platform, the chore of food shopping won’t be so difficult.”

“FARE is an ideal partner for Sifter,” asserted Judy Seybold, chief nutrition officer at Chicago-based Sifter. “Their commitment to helping people with food allergies perfectly aligns with Sifter’s mission of making healthy eating easy for everyone. The FARE-Sifter partnership will help millions of people shop with ease and confidence for allergen-free foods.” 


Baldor Expands DC-Area Ops With New Maryland Warehouse

Baldor Hargrove Industrial Campus Teaser

Baldor Specialty Foods, one of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic’s largest produce and specialty foods distributors, has signed a lease for a new facility in Lanham, Md., to significantly expand and enhance its Washington, D.C.-area operations.

Located in the Hargrove Industrial Campus on 4450 Hargrove Drive, the 100,000-square-foot facility features 35 dock doors that will enable Baldor to essentially double its number of routes over the next few years and provide quicker, earlier deliveries to restaurant and foodservice customers. It will also allow the company to add more area farms and vendors to its roster of fresh, local sources.

[Read more: "What Are the Top Specialty Food Trends for 2023?"]

“At Baldor, we see our customers’ success as our success, and delivering for them means providing the best possible ingredients and the best possible service every single day,” said Mike Muzyk, president of Bronx, N.Y.-based Baldor. “As our customer base has grown in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, we recognized the need for more space, and in particular, a location that allows us to get more trucks out, and out faster. This expansion reflects Baldor’s commitment to our customers in this region.” 

“The Lanham property also represents a continued investment in the economy of the area,” added Krenar Jusufi, Baldor’s VP of engineering, a HelloFresh veteran who helped identify the new facility, which he described as ideal “not only for the size of the property, but also proximity to major highways, which will allow us to deliver efficiently to all surrounding areas, as well as its local community to draw from for employment opportunities.”  

Baldor is looking to hire upwards of 100 employees to work at the site, including drivers and warehouse workers. The company manages major restaurant, foodservice, retail and corporate accounts, offering 6,000-plus fresh produce and specialty food items from Portland, Maine, to Richmond, Va.


Smart & Final Sets Opening Date for San Jose Store


Smart & Final is moving into a San Jose, Calif., space that once housed a Lucky grocery store. According to a report on, the grocer is set to open a warehouse at 430 Blossom Hill Road on Dec. 14, featuring more than 3,000 bulk items and a wide assortment of grocery staples.

“We’re thrilled to expand Smart & Final’s presence in San Jose with the new location on Blossom Hill Road,” the store’s general manger, Carlos Santa Cruz, said in a release shared with the local news site. “The new Smart & Final in San Jose will offer the community the quality and selection of a grocery warehouse store in a smaller and faster setting.”

Smart & Final currently operates four other warehouses in San Jose, in addition to its locations throughout the greater Bay area that includes San Francisco and Oakland.

As it expands its footprint, Smart & Final has widened its presence in the omnichannel. Earlier this year, the retailer teamed up with Uber Technologies, Inc. to offer on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery, including the delivery of alcoholic beverages.

A 150-year-old grocery business, Smart & Final was acquired in 2021 by a subsidiary of Mexican supermarket operator Grupo Comercial Chedraui. The Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final operates more than 250 locations, including larger-format stores under the Smart & Final Extra! banner that combine a warehouse-store format with traditional grocery offerings. Grupo Comercial Chedraui is No. 40 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Bobo’s Unveils Wind-Powered Production Facility in Colorado


Bobo's is raising the bar on snack food production with the opening of a new manufacturing facility in Loveland, Colo. Mirroring its commitment to simple, wholesome ingredients for snack bars and other bakery products, the company designed its production site with sustainability in mind: The plant is powered entirely by wind energy and will divert more than 95% of its solid waste from a landfill through a comprehensive waste management program.

The greener features, developed with assistance from the city of Loveland, reflect Bobo's' pledge to reduce its carbon footprint and reach carbon neutrality by the end of this year. This facility also reduced the company’s emissions because it consolidates three previous facilities into one location. In addition to integrating sustainability into the new building, Bobo’s is planning to purchase carbon offsets.

[Read more: "Helping Shoppers Rethink Snack Choices"]

Automation is another hallmark of the new facility, as the snack food company sought to bolster efficiency without changing the handmade appearance and taste of its products. The plant includes new equipment like machines that tamp bars into the signature Bobo’s pan.

Overall, the baking facility can produce up to a million bars, bites or toaster pastries a day and has built-in capacity for future expansion. According to CEO TJ McIntyre, Bobo’s has been working on the site for more than two years. “We're thrilled to officially open our incredible new ‘super bakery’ today, and to continue to support the growing, nationwide consumer demand for Bobo’s products. We've brought our entire operation, including production and packaging, under one extremely efficient, wind-powered roof to produce a product true and authentic to Beryl’s original vision that began years ago in her own kitchen,” he said.

“It’s truly amazing to think back to when my daughter, Bobo, and I baked that first batch of oat bars in my kitchen,“ added Founder Beryl Stafford. “As we have scaled our production from my kitchen to this new ‘super’ bakery, through it all it’s remained paramount that we maintain the quality of our products.”


Food Lion Opens Latest Liquor Store

Food Lion Liquor Store Hopkinsville, KY Teaser

Food Lion has opened a liquor store adjacent to the Food Lion at 4305 Canton Pike in Hopkinsville, Ky. The liquor store will be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The location is Food Lion’s third liquor store operating adjacent to a Food Lion grocery store and its first in Kentucky.

“I’m excited to open this new store in Hopkinsville and offer our neighbors a wide product assortment at the everyday low prices they expect from Food Lion,” said Hopkinsville Food Lion Liquor Store Manager Don Cole. “With this location adjacent to the Hopkinsville Food Lion, we will continue to deliver on our commitment to make grocery shopping easy, convenient and affordable for our customers.”

The store carries several spirits distilled locally as well as other area favorites.

Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and employs more than 82,000 associates. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.