In & Around Food World

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Weis Markets recently announced that its third annual Believe in Heroes campaign raised $115,000 for Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), an organization that grows awareness and enlists public support for the needs of injured service members. The program ran throughout the month of November and raised money through customers purchasing select brand name products, WWP bracelets, magnets, reusable tote bags and through monetary donations.

“We are proud of our store associates who helped make this campaign a success and would like to thank our generous customers for purchasing select products or who directly donated to the cause at the register. Together, we have raised $115,000 for our nation’s wounded veterans,” said Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets’ COO. “The Believe in Heroes program benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project is something we look forward to supporting for years to come.”

Founded in 2003, the Wounded Warrior Project was created to honor and empower service members returning from post 9-11 conflicts who have been injured mentally and/or physically. Its purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. For more information, visit www.woundedwarrior project.org.

Our good friend Dave Carter, retired from Rita Ann Cosmetics, recently sent us an interesting article from the The Press of Atlantic City where the newspaper’s lead story was on the 100th anniversary of Wawa, the convenience store chain in the Mid-Atlantic. The chain’s first store opened in Folsom, PA in April, 1964 and today the company has more than 640 stores in six states and a Forbes-estimated $9 billion in annual revenue, making it the 40th largest private company in the United States.

The 2014 Seafood Excellence Awards winners were announced recently at Seafood Expo North America held in Boston.  King & Prince Seafood won the best new retail award for their bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp and High Liner Foods won the best new foodservice award for their flame-seared Guinness barbecue glazed Atlantic salmon.

Winners were selected from a group of finalists during a live judging by a panel of seafood buyers and experts from the retail and Foodservice industries.  This year’s judges included: Chef Michael Alleva, Caesar’s Entertainment; Scott Negro, seafood category manager at Weis Markets; and Mike Seidel, national category manager for frozen and seafood at Performance Foodservice.

The Seafood Excellence Awards serve to recognize the product leaders in the North American seafood market.

Co-located with Seafood Processing North America, Seafood Expo North America is the country’s largest seafood trade event, drawing more than 19,000 buyers and sellers from more than 100 countries and more than 1,000 exhibiting companies.

Wegmans Food Markets has been ranked as the number one supermarket in the country by customers in the latest Consumer Reports survey. Wegmans edged out Trader Joe’s, Publix, Costco, Sprouts, Tops Markets and 49 other grocery stores.

More than 27,000 readers rated the nation’s major grocery stores based on service, quality of perishables, prices and cleanliness. Wegmans received an overall rating of 87 out of 100, with 100 representing “completely satisfied”. Both Wegmans and Trader Joe’s earned the highest possible marks for service, defined by employee courtesy and checkout speed.

On a sad note, we extend our sincere sympathies to the owners of Washington Flour (Wilkins-Rogers), Sam Rogers and Dick Rogers on the death of their brother, Dr. Joseph Rogers. Dr. Rogers “was a country doctor and gentleman farmer, a breeder of Angus cattle and thoroughbred racehorses, a fox hunting and steeplechase jockey, a trainer of dogs and horses, a conservationist, naturalist, businessman, newspaper owner, and a defender of the rural lifestyles and folkways that defined his Virginia heritage” according to his obituary in the Washington Post on April 13th.

While we didn’t know the doctor, we knew his brothers Sam Rogers and Richard Rogers who run Washington Flour in Ellicott City. As a business man Dr. Rogers’ interests not only included the Wilkins-Rogers Mill but also the Loudoun County Milling Co. With a friend he was a founder of the newspaper Leesburg Today in 1988.

I’m also saddened to report the death of industry veteran Bernie Levy. Bernie started his food industry career with Sweetheart Cup and later formed a successful food brokerage company, Mitchell Marketing, where he worked alongside his son Mitchell. Bernie was hard-working and well-liked in the industry. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife Carlyn Levy (nee Walblick); children Joann Levy and Mitchell Levy; brother Jay (Jill) Levy; and grandchildren Sarah Nelinson, Brenna Nelinson, Alex Levy and Jenna Levy. Donations in Bernie’s memory can be made to Foundation Fighting Blindness, P.O. Box 17279, Baltimore, MD 21297-0495.

As we approach the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer season, let’s celebrate the end of a challenging winter and fickle spring and enjoy the beauty and fun of the summer season.