In & Around Food World

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We start this month with congratulations to one of the nicest (and smartest) men ever to work in the Mid-Atlantic food industry, Jim Donald, who was recently named CEO of Extended Stay Hotels. To those who are too young to know Jim, he served as president of Safeway’s Eastern Division from 1994 to 1996. He joined Safeway with a very impressive record from Wal-Mart, where he had grown the grocery division from six stores to 146 in only three years.

Congratulations also to Buzz Beler, owner and operator of the Prime Rib Restaurants inBaltimore,Washington andPhiladelphia, which recently announced that they have signed a lease to occupy q 10,000 square foot restaurant at the Maryland Live! Casino, the new $500 million gaming, retail and entertainment destination being developed by The Cordish Companies in Anne Arundel County, MD.

As many of our readers know, the Prime Rib was first opened in Baltimorein 1965 by brothers Nick and Buzz Beler to evoke the supper clubs of 1940sManhattan – complete with a piano bar. Today all three restaurants earn top steakhouse rankings by Zagat for their respective cities.

At the new venue, The Prime Rib joins a lineup of restaurant brands that includes Chef Bobby Flay‘s Bobby’sBurgerPalace, The Cheesecake Factory and Phillips Seafood.

If you’ve ever been to any of the Prime Ribs, you probably rank them to be three of the finest steak houses in the country.

Maryland Live, with 4,750 slot machines and electronic table games, is scheduled to open in June 2012, pending approval from the Maryland State Lottery Agency.

For the second year, AholdUSAhas been named to DiversityBusiness.com’s “Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities,” moving up five spots from last year to rank 42 in theUnited States. AholdUSAwill be honored at a special awards ceremony at DiversityBusiness.com’s 12th annual Multicultural Business Conference, April 25-27 inMashantucket,CT.

In support of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s Let’s Move! initiative, Goya Foods, the largest, Hispanic-owned U.S. food company, is committing resources to promote the USDA’s MyPlate, a new food group symbol to remind families about making healthy meal choices with easy “how-tos” about proper portions. Mrs. Obama joined Bob Unanue, president of Goya Foods, and leading Latino organizations to promote their nationwide effort to encourage health and wellness in communities across the country. Goya Foods is rolling out numerous steps to help communities enjoy healthy, tasty and affordable meals including creating brochures, posters, coupons and cookbooks for consumers;; developing educational tools for fourth through sixth grade students across the country; and imprinting the MiPlato icon on some of their products.

In making the announcement, Mrs. Obama said, “Today’s announcement is what Let’s Move! is really all about – folks from every sector of our society stepping up and coming together on behalf of our kids. One of the pillars of Let’s Move! is empowering parents with the information they need to make healthy choices. MiPlato is a tool to help support families in that effort. Goya is utilizing their incredible reach into communities across the country to get this helpful information to the hand of parents. Everything that Goya is doing – from the MiPlato posters and pamphlets to cookbooks and recipes – center around the idea that we parents can make simple changes to help their children lead healthier lives.”

“For Goya, MiPlato is an ideal reflection of our product line; quality, flavor, healthy and nutritious; while offering guidance to the public to easily identify the basic food groups of vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins, and dairy,” said Unanue.

Community organizations from Floridato Californiahave shown their support of Let’s Move! with commitments to promote MiPlato and distribute the Goya-produces materials through local churches, food pantries, community health workers networks, registered dietitians, and schools.

Goya Foods will collaborate with Let’s Move! and USDA by providing Goya-produced brochure featuring a series of recipes that meet the Dietary Guidelines that MiPlato and ten tips for healthy eating. The Goya sales force will offer these brochures to 32,000 supermarkets to distribute in their communities.

Congratulations to Chip O’Hare, JOH, on being named person of the year by the Massachusetts Food Association.

Congratulations to Bozzuto’s, Inc. on being named by IGA (Independent Grocers Association) as the 2012USALicensedDistributionCenter of the Year. Bozzuto’s officials received the IGA President’s Cup at the 2012 IGA Global Rally Awards of Excellence Banquet at the Mirage Hotel inLas Vegas last month.

This is the seventh time Bozzuto’s has received the award since its inception in 1973. The award is presented annually to the IGA USA Licensed Distribution Center (LDC) of the Year, in honor of the company’s extraordinary effort in support of its IGA retailers and the IGA Brand.

Despite a sluggish recovery by the nation’s economy, the restaurant industry is projected to expand in 2012, according to the National Restaurant Association. Total restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record high of $632 billion in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase over 2011. Overall restaurant industry employment will reach 12.9 million in 2012, representing 10 percent of the totalU.S.workforce. The restaurant industry represents 10 percent of the totalU.S.workforce.

On a personal note, congratulations to my grandson, RJ Bestany, on receiving a CERTIFICATE OF

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT for LEADERSHIP fromTrinitySchoolinIlchester,MD, where he is a fourth grader.

And don’t forget, March 17th, a day to hoist a Guinness or something stronger in the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day! A visit to Clyde’s of Columbia might be in order as they offer some green beer all day for the celebration! It’s an event Food World usually covers!

 Birthday wishes go out this month to: Barbara Wolf, Acosta Sales & Marketing; Tom Bleakley, Star Sales and Marketing; Ken Gore, K.B. Gore & Co.; John Weiland, husband of Best-Met’s Nina Weiland, retired; and Denis McCrossan, Crystal Geyser Water.