Metro Beat

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Greetings everyone and I trust you all had a terrific holiday season and are ready to embark on 2017 with energy, focus and flair. I’m certainly looking forward to it and I’m sure we are all looking to the new year as an opportunity for new beginnings and the hope for an even better year than the last.

We were happy to hear that Cynthia Ramos has joined Krasdale Foods as director of sales. Cynthia comes to Krasdale from LALA Branded products where she was the East Coast sales director and prior to that held positions with Falcon Foods Distributors, La Cena, Vitarroz, Iberia and Archway Mother’s. Ken Krasne, CEO Krasdale Foods and Alpha 1 Marketing, has really secured a terrific associate. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Cynthia for several years now, and she has an “off the charts” energy level and drive, combined with a keen knowledge of the industry. She will definitely be an asset to the big wholesaler. Best wishes!

On the subject of Krasdale, kudos go out to the big wholesaler and the New York Yankees as well, as they teamed up for the 23rd annual Yankees Holiday Food Drive. This great holiday tradition rewards any fan donating at least 30 pounds of non-perishable foods with two complimentary tickets to a Yankees game in 2017. New York Yankees VP of marketing Deb Tymon told us, “This started in 1994 and on our own we totaled 2,000 pounds of donations that year. Thanks to partners like Krasdale we have grown exponentially and will this year receive 90,000 pounds of food from Krasdale alone!” Dennis Hickey, Krasdale Foods, CMO said, “We thank all of our vendor partners and Krasdale and Alpha 1 associates in making this happen for the local communities.” Great job by all!

Time to update your contact info on your phones and tablets: Acosta’s Metro New York offices have moved to 1515 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003. After originally setting up shop and hanging a shingle out in Hackensack, NJ back in the mid 1990s, the big national sales and marketing firm’s metro offices have moved into a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility. The search for new digs was spearheaded by VP/GM Stan “tm” Barrasso, and the new site makes the old offices look like something out of the Flinstones era. Best wishes in the new offices!

Goya Foods truly showed their philanthropic efforts over the holiday season. The largest Hispanic owned food company in the United States gave an ongoing donation of 125,000 pounds of Goya products and $10,000 to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark. Goya provided the first installment of 15,000 pounds of food for the holiday season, followed by 10,000 pounds each month throughout the year. “As an institution in the community, we strive to be a company of compassion and to do our part in helping others who need it the most, especially during the holiday season,” said Rafael Toro, director of public relations for Goya Foods. “We will always support the work of organizations like Catholic Charities, who are directly helping to improve the overall wellness of our communities.” The donation of $10,000 will go to the Hope House Homeless Shelter, located at 246 2nd Street in Jersey City and St. Rocco’s Emergency Family Shelter located at 368 South 7th Street in Newark, NJ. “Catholic Charities is very grateful for Goya’s generous donation. The much needed food will be given to the many people who come through our food program during the Christmas season. The $10,000 donation will be used to purchase presents for the families that live in our family shelters,” said John Westervelt, chief operating officer of Catholic Charities. The shelters provide housing, meals and supportive to homeless families and single mothers. The donation is part of the Goya Gives campaign, a series of annual donations that serves to encourage others to participate in the message and act of helping those in need. Over the years, Goya has donated millions of pounds of food to organizations worldwide and continues to support more than 250 organizations and cultural institutions. The public can also share the #GoyaGives message with friends and family through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information about Goya Foods, please visit www.goya.com. Goya has also partnered with the New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center and Goya employees to volunteer their time to sort and pack food at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey as part of the organizations’ combined day of service. The event follows the Devils’ Food Drive in November, which collected 15,000 pounds of food from Devils fans. Goya donated an additional 20,000 pounds to raise the total to 35,000 pounds of food that will be donated to Newark families this winter. The Goya employees created family packs for 29,167 meals that will include an assortment of Goya products. Well done Goya!! And finally, before we leave the Goya fanfare, Bob Unanue, president of the big company will be the honoree at this year’s “Vision for the Future” Visionary Awards Dinner to benefit the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This is a terrific fund raising event and networking evening that is chaired by Jason Ferreira of Ferreira Foodtown and his wife Jennifer. Their son JJ is affected by a degenerative vision disease and the event helps to raise funds to assist in the fight to find a cure for all afflicted. The dinner will be on June 1 at Terrace on the Park in Corona, Queens and for more information contact Katie Van Benschuten at 212-244-1470 or kvanbenschuten@fightblindness.org.

A tip of the hat to The Food Emporium Brooklyn Market located at 8102 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on their financial donation to St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church right before Christmas. Assembly member Pamela Harris, Congress member Dan Donovan, and State Senator Martin Golden were in attendance at the check presentation. The Food Emporium Brooklyn Market raised money through weekly sweepstakes and a portion of their sales to donate to St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church. The donation was part of their ongoing initiative to be involved in helping their community. “Here at The Food Emporium Brooklyn Market, we firmly believe that you take nothing with you when you die, only your good deeds,” says the store owner Naseri Mujalli. “That’s why we are committed to helping our community in any way we can – whether it be something as small as a smile or a nice gesture, or as big as a donation, we encourage everyone to give back however they can.” Well done!

Congratulations to DeCicco & Sons as they opened their seventh and newest store in Millwood, NY, right before the end of the year. (and completed in just four months’ time!) The spectacular 18,000 square foot store is going to be a LEED certified facility and was built using plenty of reclaimed materials. The décor looks and feels like a country/rustic market place and a full service beer and wine bar is on premise. Full service departments in deli, prepared foods, bakery, seafood and Butcher Shoppe all provide the fullest attention to the customer. A gala extravaganza was held for family and friends the evening before the grand opening, complete with a live band and plenty of well-wishers. Kudos to brothers Joe and John DeCicco and their sons John Jr., Chris and Joe Jr. on a spectacular site!

Eight months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Fairway Markets opened its 15th store in the Georgetown neighborhood of Brooklyn. Located at 2149 Ralph Avenue at the site of a former Waldbaums, the location presents the prototype for Fairway’s new store model. It is a smaller footprint and lower cost structure than their existing stores with a selling space of 32,000 square feet. Yet the new look with a retro warehouse feel really seems to work. An expansive array of items (60,000) including natural and organic products, hard-to-find specialty and gourmet offerings, along conventional groceries and a wide range of prepared foods as well as local products are offered. On-premise baking including a fully stocked kosher bakery are all part of shopping experience. At the grand opening Jack Murphy, CEO of Fairway Group Holdings Corp, said, “We are thrilled to officially open our doors to the Georgetown community and become an active part of this thriving neighborhood. With the opening of our second Brooklyn location, and a strong outlook on the future, Fairway looks forward to further providing the best food and the best shopping experience for New Yorkers.” While Fairway still has significant debt and competitive issues in front of them, maybe it’s time to give them the benefit of the doubt that they can make a go of this. The level of optimism and enthusiasm among the associates was palpable at the opening, and here’s hoping it can carry on to success.

Well, that’s it for now. The calendar is looking really busy over the next several weeks, so here’s hoping I see many of you out and about, and as always you can reach me at 201-250-2217 or kgallagher@best-met.com.