News Briefs


Freshmart Taps eGrowcery to Boost Digital Sales

Freshmart Teaser

Freshmart, a natural food retailer with seven stores in Puerto Rico, has adopted online sales and fulfillment solutions from white-label software-as-a-service-based e-commerce platform eGrowcery. The customized Freshmart system focuses on prepared and fresh food, along with fulfillment options that include store pickup and integrated delivery to start.

“We needed an e-commerce solution that offers a wide variety of items and speaks to our customers clearly,” said Jorge Machado, president of San Juan-based Freshmart. “eGrowcery provides us everything we require to operate a vibrant experience that meets the demands of our existing shoppers and will attract new ones.”

[Read More:Hitchcock’s Keeps Customers Coming Back With Better Digital Experience”]

Freshmart chose eGrowcery because of the solution’s flexibility, integration with the grocer’s point of sale, and custom payments integration approach to support the Puerto Rican market.

“E-commerce continues to expand in Puerto Rico, where we are seeing demand for more robust tools from retailers,” noted Patrick Hughes, CEO of Bloomfield Hills-based eGrowcery, which “is well positioned to support retailers like Freshmart in providing all of the best-in-class capabilities for a unique shopping experience. The addition of a presence in Puerto Rico is a milestone for eGrowcery. We are committed to expanding our operations within the country and bringing forward emerging and innovative technology.” 


Big Y Appoints 3rd-Generation Leader to ESG Role

Big Y Maggie D'Amour Teaser

Big Y Foods Inc.’s board of directors has named Maggie E. D’Amour to the newly created position of senior manager of environmental, social and governance. In her new position, Maggie reviews, explores and recommends environmental and sustainability options and social responsibility strategies throughout the entire company.

This involves coordinating with other teams to establish overall sustainability goals in such areas as energy sourcing, waste management and eco-friendly packaging, as well as collaborating with several groups to develop social responsibility strategies. She reports to Mathieu “Matt” L. D’Amour, VP real estate and development.

[Read more: “Big Y Promotes 5 to New Management Roles”]

In 2000, Maggie joined the company as a part-time service clerk. She then took on such roles as cashier and floral clerk before transitioning to a full-time associate as an employee services representative. In 2016, she became an assistant store director and a year later was named a store director, a role she held at several supermarkets before being appointed to her latest position.

A Progressive Grocer Top Woman in Grocery in 2021, she has earned a BA from Providence College and FMI’s Food Retailer Certification.

“As a member of the third generation of D’Amours involved in the business, Maggie is passionate about securing the longevity of Big Y while also preserving our planet,” noted Matt. “We look forward to strengthening and expanding our commitment to sustainability.”

One of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Springfield, Mass.-based Big Y operates locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut, including supermarkets, Table & Vine Fine Wines and Liquors, and Big Y Express gas and convenience locations with 10,000-plus employees. The company is No. 72 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Save Mart Ups its Retail Media Game

Save Mart

Broadening its digital reach, The Save Mart Cos. is teaming up with tech provider Swiftly to launch a retail media network. Through this venture, the parent company of Save MartLucky, and FoodMaxx banners hopes to bolster advertising opportunities for its suppliers and improve the omnichannel shopping experience for customers.

The new retail media network allows for integrated coupon clipping, loyalty/rewards experiences, product browsing, weekly ads, sign-in and store locator features, run of site, run of category, and retail media placements, among other tools.

“The Save Mart Cos.’ digital transformation journey is foundational to the company’s growth plan, including omnichannel engagement, loyalty and efficiency,” explained Tamara Pattison, SVP and chief digital officer at the grocer “Not only can we provide our CPG partners greater opportunities to expand their digital relationships with our growing customer base, but we can also enable them to drive greater performance and growth with improved targeting and measurement capabilities.”

Added Sean Turner, co-founder and CTO of Seattle-based Swiftly: “The addition of website tools, combined with the in-app experience, allows [The Save Mart Cos.] to provide a more consistent and connected digital experience to their customers while increasing reach, engagement and loyalty.”

Based in Modesto, Calif., The Save Mart Cos. operates more than 200 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx. In addition to its retail operation, the company also operates SMART Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries, which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy-processing plant in Turlock, Calif. Save Mart is No. 52 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


Shipt Unveils Enhanced Member Dashboard, Perks

Shipt member dashboard teaser

As it works to further invest in its customers, retail technology company Shipt is launching a set of value-added member perks, including a new member dashboard. Member benefits, lifetime savings, member-only offers, preferred shoppers and other information will be available on the enhanced personalized dashboard.

With the new perks, annual and monthly Shipt members will now have access to a four-month free trial to a SiriusXM Streaming plan, free shipping/no service charge from, and the first-of-its-kind Preferred Shoppers feature, which allows members to create a list of their favorite shoppers. Members will also have continued access to members-only savings opportunities and unlimited $0 shopping and delivery fee on orders over $35.

“Our members are core to what we do. We want them to know they’re appreciated and that Shipt will go above and beyond to add value to their lives from the very first moment they engage with us,” said Alia Kemet, chief marketing officer. “These current offerings are just the beginning, and we’re looking forward to sharing more value exclusively with our members through the rest of this year.”

Shipt is an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Target Corp., which is No. 6 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. Founded and based in Birmingham, Ala., Shipt also maintains an office in San Francisco.


Boston Beer Names New Supply Chain Officer

boston beer

The Boston Beer Company Inc., maker of such brands as Samuel Adams, Truly Hard Seltzer, Truly Vodka Soda, Twisted Tea, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Dogfish Head, Hard Mountain Dew and Jim Beam Kentucky Coolers, has tapped Philip A. Hodges as chief supply chain officer (CSCO). He will oversee brewery management, procurement, customer service, engineering, safety, quality and planning.

Hodges moves into the official role following a one-year stint as a supply chain advisor to Boston Beer. Since May 2022, he has improved brewery performance by reducing freight and warehouse costs and implementing systems that improve forecasting and inventory management, the company noted. 

A 30-year CPG professional, Hodges was EVP of group supply chain at Copenhagen-based brewing company Carlsberg before working for Boston Beer. His extensive background also includes supply chain and operations positions at SABMiller, Mondelēz International and Kraft Foods Group.

"Phil has influenced our supply chain approach since he first started consulting with us last year," said Boston Beer CEO David A. Burwick, to whom Hodges will report. "The supply chain team has been working hard to modernize our supply chain through investments in equipment and process and by implementing thoughtful gross-margin savings plans. We're looking forward to the significant impact Phil will now make in his new leadership position as our CSCO as we seek to generate substantial gross-margin expansion from our supply chain over the next few years."


Lipari Foods to Acquire Comercializadora Del Midwest

Lipari Foods Truck Teaser

Specialty food distributor Lipari Foods has reached an agreement to acquire Comercializadora Del Midwest (CDM), a provider of Central and South American specialty items. According to Lipari, the move will expand its portfolio of international products, as well as its distribution footprint in the Midwest.

Founded in 2007, CDM services 380-plus customers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, and has approximately 26 employees. The company globally sources more than 1,200 items from 12-plus countries throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

“We are thrilled to welcome the CDM team into our family as we develop the Latino category,” John Pawlowski, President & COO of Warren, Mich.-based Lipari. “[The company] did an incredible job focusing on the customer and supplier relationships while building out their program as a trusted partner. We are excited to integrate their expertise with our distribution footprint, leading to significant opportunities for all of our business partners.” 

“We knew Lipari was a trusted partner that would build upon our company values centered around people, relationships, trust and focus on the customer,” added Roberto Gomez, owner of Clive, Iowa-based CDM. “We are excited to see the growth and development as our companies work together, creating new opportunities for all of our customers and suppliers.”

Claudio Zarate will continue as leader of CDM.

Founded in 1963, Lipari delivers a wide range of quality bakery, dairy, deli, packaging, seafood, meat, grocery, foodservice, confectionery and convenience food and beverage products to 11,000-plus customers across 28 states.