In & Around Food World

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Groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a new retail center commencing in the Croom, MD neighborhood featuring an 110,000 square-foot shopping center on the corner of Crain Highway and Osborne Road. The project will be anchored by a 56,000 square-foot, full-service Safeway, which is expected to open in 2014.

Safeway purchased the entire property in order to replace a small, outdated Safeway with a state-of-the-art store to better serve the community in addition to redeveloping the shopping center. This project is part of the company’s effort to upgrade its entire store base with its popular Lifestyle format.

Here’s some interesting information about Croom, MD. Croom is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Prince George’s County, MD. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 2,631. It largely consists of former tobacco farms and forests converting to Washington, DC bedroom subdivisions such as nearby Marlton. The main part of Patuxent River Park (Jug Bay Natural Area) is in Croom. The ColumbiaAirCenter was located in Croom from 1941-1956. It was among the first African-American owned airports in the United States.

Food Marketing Institute and the United Fresh Produce Association plan to co-locate their annual trade shows in Chicago for the next three years, it was announced recently.

The two organizations had decided on a combined 2014 FMI Connect and United Fresh Show last year, but confirmed last week that the partnership would continue through 2016.

Though FMI and United Fresh have co-located shows before, most recently in Dallas in 2012, leaders said the new partnership would bring more integration between the two groups this time around. Exhibitors and attendees will see this particularly on the show floor but also possibly in joint education sessions. Registration for the show, taking place June 10-13, is now open.

Professional Woman’s Magazine has named Ahold USA among the “Top Supplier Diversity Programs for Women” for 2013 as a result of the company’s commitment to working with diverse and women-owned businesses. This annual review is an evaluation of the nation’s employers, initiatives, government agencies and educational institutions, compiled from market research, independent research, diversity conference participation and survey responses. Ahold USDA’s signature efforts with local diverse businesses include hosting annual trade local/diverse business opportunity fairs, events which strengthen the company’s connection to prospective local agricultural and diverse businesses. 2013 events were held in February in Quincy, MA, and last month in Carlisle.

During the 2013 Quincy and Carlisle events, a total of 81 companies were given the opportunity to have their products reviewed by Ahold USA for potential placement through its retail divisions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Attendees included representatives of women-and minority-owned businesses.

We were saddened last month to hear of the death of Larry Adam, charismatic founder of Harvest for the Hungry. Larry formed Harvest for the Hungry in 1987 after participating in a holiday food drive at Morgan Stanley where he was a stockbroker. He quickly realized that “hunger doesn’t take a holiday” and launched a series of year-round food drives that engaged WBAL, Safeway, the Girl Scouts and many other organizations. Harvest for the Hungry campaigns, including the Kids Helping Kids Food & Funds Drive in public schools across the state of Maryland, have collected more than 30 million pounds of food and more than $1 million for hungry children and families in Maryland.

Birthday wishes go out to my daughter-in-law Stephanie and to grandson RJ Bestany.

A happy, healthy Thanksgiving to all of our readers in the Food World!