In & Around Food World

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Regional supermarket chains with an emphasis on customer service dominated the 2012

Consumer Reports list of shoppers’ favorite food retailers, as reported in the May issue of the magazine.

Wegmans Food Markets was the top-rated supermarket in the survey, which polled more than 24,000 consumers who are subscribers to the magazine.

Wegmans was followed in the top 10 by, in order: Trader Joe’s, Publix Super Markets, Fareway Stores, Costco, Harris Teeter, Demoulas Market Basket, Raley’s, Hy-Vee and Stater Bros. All but Costco were given the highest possible scores in the service category, which was defined as employee courtesy and checkout speed. All but Costco and Trader Joe’s are regional operators.

The highest complaint shoppers had overall about their supermarket was that there were not enough open checkouts (cited by 27 percent of shoppers), followed by congested or cluttered aisles and out-of-stocks on advertised specials.

One third of the shoppers surveyed said they had stopped shopping at a nearby food retailer. Of those, 43 percent cited lower prices elsewhere; 25 percent cited poor selection, long lines or poor food quality; 17 percent cited employee rudeness; and 14 percent cited crowds.

The food industry in the Mid-Atlantic was saddened by the death of Anthony S. “Tony” D’Anna, retired Mars Super Markets executive and World War II veteran, who passed away from complications of a stroke at Symphony Manor assisted-living facility in Roland Park. The long time Timonium, MD resident was 85.

Tony was a Calvert Hall College High School graduate, class of 1944. He enlisted in the Army and served in Europe with the 63rd Infantry Division. His decorations included a Bronze Star for exemplary military service.

In 1943, Tony’s brother, Joseph D’Anna, established the first Mars Supermarket on Old Eastern Avenue in Essex. The store was named for the Mars flying boat, which was built during World War II on Old Eastern Avenue. Joseph D’Anna opened a second store in 1945 on Eastern Avenue and he was joined by two other brothers, Carmen and Angelo.

They closed the two Essex stores and opened another supermarket in Dundalk in 1946. Joseph D’Anna sold his interest in the business to his two brothers.

Tony D’Anna, who was the youngest of seven bothers, went to work as a grocery and produce clerk for his brothers in 1949. He was elected to the board in 1953, and was made a partner two years later.

In 1963 he moved to the store’s executive offices on Holabird Avenue, where he rose to vice president and secretary. At his retirement in 1997, he was the company’s chief purchasing agent.

Tony leaves his son, Gino D’Anna, a sister, Concetta T. D’Anna of Dundalk, and four grandchildren.

We are also saddened to report the death of former chairman and director of Pet Products International, a subsidiary of Ralston Purina Co., Franklin W. Krum. Prior to joining Ralston Purina, Frank served as president of the Golden Products Division of Ralston, and before that president and chief executive officer of Golden Cat Company, and president and CEO of ALPO Petfoods. Frank was loved and respected by everyone who worked with or for him. He was truly the executive’s executive and a person who cared deeply for everyone who worked with and for him.

Congratulations to Harry “Chip” O’Hare Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of JOH, on being named as Person of the Year by the Massachusetts Food Association. We knew Chip from our Boston days and many of the “old time brokers” will remember his father, Harry O’Hare, who was the founder of Johnson,O’Hare Food Brokers.

Our sincere sympathies go out to the family of Murray Lender, Lender’s Bagels, who passed away last month. He was 81. Murray was a good friend of this newspaper and very supportive of our efforts in the mid-Atlantic.

Birthday wishes go out this month to: Safeway’s (retired) Roger Herding; Acosta Fresh Foods’ Joe Barrie and Ted Kopp; Dietz & Watson’s Rich Wright; Magruder’s Mark Polsky; Metromedia’s David Finkelstein; Southeastern Mills Leon Gleaves; and to An Poitin Stil’s – America’s Best Irish Pub – Dorsey Baldwin.