Metro Beat

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Well, I don’t really remember what I did speak about that day, but I do remember the first person who came up to me and extended an invitation to stay for lunch with all of the Wakefern owners – yes, it was Joel Perlmutter. Joel just always seemed to find a way to make anyone he was speaking with feel as though they were the most important person in the room and you could tell it all came from a place of genuineness. He is survived by his bride of 39 years Lynn; his brother Michael; and his children Stuart Perlmutter (Amy), Kevin Rand (Jill), Jennifer Perlmutter-Russo (John), Tammy Breen (Michael), Julie Heise (Fred), Darren Rand, Brett Rand (Daniela); and his grandchildren Shawn, Keith, Raquel, Adam, Megan, Jake, Brian, Debra, Paige, Jared, Joshua, Jeremy, Carly, Andrew; and new great-grandchild Benjamin. Though I saw him only occasionally these last few years, he was often in my thoughts. My deepest condolences go out to all of Joel’s family. He will certainly be missed. The family asks that any contributions in Joel’s memory be made to the Joel and Lynn Perlmutter Family Foundation, 954 Route 166, Toms River, NJ 08753. May he rest in eternal peace.

The spectacular setting of the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City, NJ was the site of Saint Joseph’s University’s Academy of Food Marketing as they presented part of their Educational Scholarship Series.Bricks & Clicks: The E-Commerce Explosion” was the topic of the evening and a distinguished panel was on hand to speak about the growth opportunities in the online world. The evening focused on the $24.4 billion e-commerce business in the food industry and panelists included Donna Zambo of Wakefern, Linda Crowder of Peapod, Michele McNamara of Mondelez and Charlie Moore of Fresh Direct. The moderator for the evening was professor George Latella of Saint Joseph’s University. While the panelists all agreed that Amazon was the elephant in the industry, they all seemed to concur that successful retail establishments and food retailers can deliver an engagement experience to customers that Amazon cannot. The difficulty, though, will be in facilitating the experience for the customer and being able to give them what they want and when they want it. Overall, it was a good night for Saint Joseph’s and a nice touch to bring one of their events up to the Metro area.

FreshDirect has announced it will expand its service to the Washington, DC metropolitan area beginning April 5. FreshDirect CEO and co-founder Jason Ackerman said, “DC cares deeply about great-tasting food, with residents that are health-conscious foodies with extremely busy schedules in need of a better, more convenient way to get food. We’re confident DC customers will taste the difference in our food as well as love the convenience of skipping the store. We are excited to expand our geographic footprint and look forward to being part of the D.C. metropolitan area.”

Wegman’s announced the opening dates for its two future New Jersey stores. The 113,00 square foot Hanover site located at Interstate 287 and Route 10 will open on July 23 and the long anticipated Montvale site on West Grand Avenue will open its doors for business on September 24.

As always, I look forward to seeing you out in the field and if you need to reach me please call at 201.250.2217 or email at kgallagher@best-met.com.