News Briefs


Northern New Jersey to Welcome Locally Sourced Produce

Lindeken Farm Store

Family-owned and -operated Alstede Farms will open its fourth brick-and-mortar store in Jefferson Township, N.J., on April 1, providing residents year-round access to fresh locally grown produce.  

Located at 54 State Route 15 and Berkshire Valley Road, the new Alstede Fresh at Lindeken Farms will offer seasonal locally grown fruits and vegetables direct from Alstede's 800-acre farm fields in Chester, N.J. Baked goods and other grocery items will also be available. Patrons can additionally purchase Christmas trees in December, sign up for the Community Supported Agriculture program, and access free online recipes for healthy meals and snacks.

[Read more: “Kensington Community Food Co-op Reopens”]

The new Alstede Fresh at Lindeken Farms' retail space was formerly occupied by Lindeken Farms, which was operated by the Stanlick family and provided locally grown produce to the area for generations. It closed permanently on Dec. 24, 2022.

Major building renovations and an architectural refresh are underway to better reflect the Alstede Farms brand, but "the spirit of the building remains," said Kurt Alstede, founder of Alstede Farms. "Our family and our team members are proud to continue Lindeken Farms' tradition and keep the Stanlick legacy alive in the community."

The Stanlick family opened Lindeken Farms in 1949.

"We can't wait to share with families the goodness of what we grow," said Kurt Alstede. "That we make this goodness accessible to everyone, every day, matters to us.  We look forward to being an important part of the local community."

Alstede Farms has nourished New Jersey families for 40 years. While Kurt Alstede is a first-generation farmer, his wife, Mary Thompson-Alstede, comes from a family that has farmed in Chester for more than 100 years. Their children plan to remain in the business.

Alstede Fresh at Lindeken Farms will be open year-round. Additional details, including hours of operation, will be revealed soon.


KeHE Marks Return of In-Person Summer Show

KeHE show

Sure, ice, snow and wind chills are gripping many parts of the country right now, but most grocers are deep into planning for summer and beyond. KeHe Distributors, for its part, shared details about its 2023 Summer Show, to be held in person at Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., from Feb. 7-8 and online from Feb. 1-15 via the KeHE Connect digital platform.

The annual Summer Show spotlights new products and trends for the upcoming summer season. According to the natural, organic and specialty distributor, more than 845 exhibitors will take part in the in-person and virtual events, doling out information and samples.  

“Summer is just around the corner, so now is the time for retailers to curate their summer product portfolios and source leading-edge innovation to support industry trends. We are grateful for our network of supplier partners that enable the largest manifestation of the KeHE brand,” remarked Ari Goldsmith, KeHE's VP of marketing and digital media.

In addition to the exhibits, this year’s Summer Show features a Next Generation Innovation Showcase featuring emerging brands that aren't yet available on the market, along with a fresh marketplace. KeHE's retailer and supplier partners can also attend a session on evolution in leadership hosted by Brandon Barnholt and Deb Conklin, current and future president and CEO of KeHE, respectively. Conklin starts her new position on April 1, as Barnholt transitions to the role of executive chairman.

Outstanding brands will be honored at the event as well. Seventeen winners of KeHe’s On Trend awards will be announced, based on their innovation, purpose, taste, promotions, packaging and people.

This year marks a return to KeHe's in-person Summer Show. The event was virtual-only in 2021 and 2022 during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Naperville, Ill.-based KeHE provides products to more than 30,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers and other specialty products retailers throughout North America. The Certified B Corporation has more than 6,800 employee-owners.


Hy-Vee Offering 1K Free Cholesterol Screenings in February

Hy-Vee Sign Teaser

Among the health-and-wellness events that Hy-Vee is offering in February are 1,000 free cholesterol screenings at more than 50 stores throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region. Requiring only a simple blood draw and should be administered, a cholesterol screening can provide individuals with information about their overall health and help them take the appropriate steps to lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Participants should fast for 9 to 12 hours before the 15-minute screening. Individuals will receive their results during their appointment time. The screenings are available while supplies last and provided in partnership with RX Sugar, Perfect Snacks, Sweet Loren’s, Belgioioso and the National Peanut Board.

[Read more: "Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Can Access Low-Cost Insulin, Free Shingles Vaccine at Hy-Vee"]

The Hy-Vee dietitian team is also debuting a five-week weight management program tailored to each participant’s lifestyle and goals. The dietitians will work one-on-one with individuals on a personalized plan to help deliver long-lasting results. The program includes an introductory visit with a dietitian, virtual lessons and four dietitian check-ins that can take place in person or virtually.

Additionally, Hy-Vee’s dietitians will hold free virtual wellness Wednesday classes and virtual freezer meal workshops in February.

Registration for all of the above events is available online.

Last month, the grocer committed to administering 1,000 free vitamin D screenings

Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Kensington Community Food Co-op Reopens

KCFC Entrance Teaser

Kensington Community Food Co-op (KCFC), a local, community-owned grocery store in Philadelphia, is back. The member-owned co-op is now open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The reopening followed an extensive renovation that included the expansion of products, enhanced customer service and budget-friendlier pricing strategies.

For instance, in addition to its newly augmented line of such popular product offerings as Do Good Natural Chicken, and many new beverages and snacks, the co-op will offer items exclusive to KCFC. The store has also made several changes to improve the shopping experience, among them a refreshed layout, replacing pricier items with budget-friendlier ones, new merchandise, and a diverse mix of products to meet the needs of shoppers. Further, the store will soon offer community-based events and workshops.

[Read more: "Calgary Co-op to Acquire Local Wines & Spirits Brand"]

“We’re thrilled to open our doors and welcome back our community,” said Dennis Hanley, of Columinate, a grocery industry consulting organization hired by the co-op’s board and members. “The KCFC team has worked hard to create a new space that is not only beautiful, but also serves the needs of our customers. We can’t wait to share all the exciting changes and new products with everyone.” 

A mission-based organization, KCFC offers healthy, affordable and accessible food to the Kensington, Fishtown, Port Richmond and Riverwards areas. The co-op is committed to providing high-quality, locally sourced products.


Fields Foods Adds to Its St. Louis Presence

St Louis

Independent grocer Fields Foods, which specializes in natural and organic products, is opening its fifth store in the St. Louis market. The latest location in the city’s Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood will welcome shoppers on Feb. 9.

[Read more: "Rouses Markets to Open 1st Store in Biloxi"]

The grand opening in a mixed-use development at 299 DeBaliviere Avenue will feature deals, samples and activities. In addition to picking up grocery staples and an array of fresh, locally sourced foods, shoppers can browse a floral and gift department and order chef-prepared meals to enjoy in the in-store café or take home.

Missouri-based Fields Foods is on a roll. The grocer’s fourth location in the Dogtown neighborhood opened in April 2022 and another site is slated to be unveiled this year in the suburb of Pagedale.


Candymaker, Inventor Bob Born Passes Away

Bob Born

Just as Easter candy is hitting store shelves, those at Just Born Quality Confections are mourning the loss of the man who engineered the popular Peeps products. Ira “Bob” Born, 98, passed away on Jan. 29.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Born joined his father, Sam, in the company business in Bethlehem, Pa., after serving in World War II. He designed the machine that automated the production of Peeps, which had previously been made by hand, and invented the Hot Tamales candy by finding a creative way to rework Mike and Ike candies.

[Read more: "Former Dierbergs EVP Dies at 88"]

“Bob will be remembered as a tireless and passionate advocate for the candy industry and a wonderful supporter of our community. Bob was our second-generation family member whose dedication was instrumental in Just Born reaching our 100-year milestone. We extend our deepest sympathy to his son, Ross, and the entire family,” said David Shaffer, board chair and co-CEO of Just Born.

In 2019, Born was on hand at the candy factory when City of Bethlehem proclaimed the first day of the Easter season as “Bob Born Day.” This year, Just Born marks its 100th year in business. The company got its start – and its name – in 1923 when Sam Born launched his candy line and put out a sign declaring “Just Born” to tout its freshness.