The Prime Drink Group Corp., a Quebec-based diversified beverage holding company that acquires and manages natural spring water sources in a sustainable way, announced recent leadership changes. Raimondo Messina is now chairman of the board, while Alexandre Côté is president and CEO. Oliver Primeu, who formerly served as chairman, president and CEO, will focus on the vision and strategic development of the company.
A board director, Messina founded Dream Hospitality group and served as CEO of Beach Day Every Day. He is a certified public accountant and a longtime food entrepreneur and based in Quebec.
Côté, a Prime director since 2020, brings more than 20 years of experience in financial product distribution to his new position. He is the co-founder of Hybrid Financial Ltd and president of exempt market broker firm Fecteau, Côté & Manocchio Ltée,
In other news, Prime Drink Co. appointed Dominique Primeau as a new director. Primeau has a broad background in the food and retailing industry; his experience includes taking over and growing his family grocery store more than 30 years ago.
Prime Drink Group currently controls more than a third of Quebec’s fresh ground water reserves volume under permit.
Naturipe Farms Taps New Director of Business Development
Farmer-owned berry and avocado producer Naturipe Farms has a new leader on its value-added fresh team, bringing on Matthew Lyons as director of business development. He will manage that division as it expands across retail and foodservice channels.
Lyons brings more than 30 years of experience to the role. He joins the Salinas, Calif.-based Naturipe Farm from Produce Alliance, where he served as director of sourcing. He also worked as a sourcing manager for six years for Starbucks Coffee Co. and spent nearly 20 years at River Ranch Fresh Foods in multiple operation divisions.
“Working with a household name in the berry industry is exciting in its own right, but I am truly excited to work with the value-added team as we expand Naturipe’s reach into healthier produce-forward snack and meal options,” said Lyons. “I’ve enjoyed a partnership with the Naturipe team over the years, and I am honored to now stand beside them in this role.”
Lyons reports to Steven Ware, VP and general manager of value-added fresh at Naturipe. “He comes with not only an extensive knowledge of the food industry, but also with a unique perspective on Naturipe from his time as a customer. The team believes he will play a key role in the expansion of the brand in new product development and sourcing,” Ware remarked.
Southern California independent Erewhon has launched a redesigned mobile app.
“We’ve built a native shopping experience directly into our mobile app, blending both our grocery and café segments of the business,” explained Kabir Jain, chief growth officer at Los Angeles-based Erewhon. “The new Erewhon mobile app has been fully reimagined and designed with the intention of naturally extending the feeling of shopping in an Erewhon store right onto the phone. We’ve layered an innovative browsing experience and clean aesthetic, with several new shopping features to create the most seamless shopping journey possible.”
•Curated Homepage: thoughtfully selected rotating products, categories and promotions •Intelligent Product Search: users have most accurate and fastest results •Product Recommendations: contextually relevant AI-generated suggestions •One-Click Reorder: users can easily reorder their favorite items with a single click •Dynamic Prep Time: dynamic adjustment of order prep time based on unique counts of prepared versus picked items in the cart, for fast service •Shopping List: users can save their favorite items for later •Rotating Prepared Foods and Modifiers: rotating daily specials that match the café’s offerings, and easily modified prepared foods and drinks, with hundreds of options •Real-Time Order Tracker: users can monitor their live order status (pickup in as short a time as 15 minutes, and delivery in 30 minutes) •Integrated Membership Program: available throughout the ordering process •Dynamic Merchandising: best products delivered during the browsing experience
The grocer’s new app has rolled out across the iOS and Android platforms, with the features also available on Erewhon’s website.
Erewhon operates nine stores in the Los Angeles area. A 10th is coming this fall to Pasadena, Calif.
Food Network Angels Teams With eGrowcery to Help Needy Shoppers
Food Network Angels, a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to feeding underserved families in southwest Ohio, has joined forces with e-commerce platform eGrowcery to provide needy customers with an online ordering option. Food Network Angels is building a digital store that includes SNAP payment.
“The purpose of Food Network Angels is to make feeding the hungry and undernourished more dignified,” said Wendy Schuchmann, founder and CEO of Owens, Ohio-based Food Network Angels. “Working with eGrowcery will help us accomplish that goal by removing much of the friction involved with ordering and receiving food and related necessities.”
The online grocery platform is providing technology to Food Network Angels at a reduced total cost to support the cause alleviating food insecurity, including an annual donation to the organization.
“Our Food Network Angels partnership is an excellent example of how eGrowcery can do its part to help serve the undernourished,” noted Patrick Hughes, CEO of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based eGrowcery. “Our solution will help Wendy and her team provide more access and groceries to more families. This is a very nice win for all involved.”
German Food Importer Carl Brandt Names New President/CEO
Stanley Mazepa has been appointed president and CEO (USA) at Fairfield, Conn.-based Carl Brandt Inc., an importer and distributor of German food products. Mazepa succeeds Susanne Settineri, who, with her father, was involved in the founding of the company in 1989 and key to its success. A 30-year veteran of the food industry, Mezepa will continue Settineri’s work developing exclusive European brands as she transitions to retirement.
“Carl Brandt Inc. will be further solidified as a leading expert in developing imported brands and providing world-class services to manufacturers in terms of efficiency, expertise and relationships in the industry,” noted Mazepa.
“We stand by Stanley Mazepa and all the employees in Fairfield as a competent partner and look forward to supporting a strong team with our extensive expertise from the European market,” said Jan Dominik Gunkel, CEO of the Brandt Zwieback-Schokoladen Group, which provides support to Carl Brandt Inc.
From baked goods and confectionery to canned goods, beverages and other specialty products, Carl Brandt Inc. offers an extensive assortment that appeals to the needs and preferences of a broad consumer base.
Harps Food Stores, Inc. is adding to its portfolio with the acquisition of an independent market in Louisiana. The employee-owned Harps is taking over Janise's Supermarket in the town of Sunset in St. Landry Parish.
“We are thrilled to welcome Janise's Supermarket into the Harps Food Stores family. This acquisition aligns perfectly with our strategic growth plans and allows us to expand our footprint in Louisiana. We are committed to honoring Janise's Supermarket's legacy and serving the Sunset community with the same level of excellence they have come to expect,” said Kim Eskew, chairman and CEO of Harps.
Store employees will be kept on, according to the grocers. “We firmly believe that this partnership will be immensely beneficial to the residents of Sunset, Louisiana, and the surrounding area," said Michael Dwayne Janise of Janise’s. "As an ESOP company, we are delighted to offer our employees a remarkable opportunity for career growth in the grocery industry. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our valued customers and dedicated employees for their unwavering support and patronage throughout our 49-year journey.”
Founded in 1930, Harps runs 146 stores across Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kansas.