Metro Beat

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B&G Foods has added to its portfolio of brands with the acquisition of Robert’s American Gourmet Food, LLC for about $195 million. Robert’s, which makes the Pirate’s Booty brand of natural snacks, was jointly owned by VMG Partners, Driven Capital Management and founder Robert Ehrlich. B&G projects the Roberts’ brands to generate net sales of $80 to $90 million once the business is fully integrated when the deal is closed in July.

Randy Berman of Continental Food & Beverage tells us that since his company acquired the rights to the Malta El Sol brand at the end of the year in 2012, the integration has been going very well and CF&B is looking forward to aggressively launching the brand into its distribution system covering 28 states. Malta El Sol has a forty year history in the Hispanic beverage industry and Randy expects it to perform well with CF&B’s Inca Kola and other ethnic brands,

Wakefern and Neil Greenstein of ShopRite of Brookdale announced that he will be opening a new location, ShopRite of Newark this fall. The new store will be a 67,000 square foot unit located at the corner of Springfield Ave and Jones Street in the heart of Newark’s central ward.

We were saddened to hear that Joseph A. Unanue, former president of Goya Foods, Inc. passed away on June 12, at his home in Alpine, NJ. Our sympathies go out to the entire Goya Foods family no their loss. Our condolences also go out to Jack Sagen of Jetro/Restaurant Depot. Jack lost his soul mate and partner in life Barbara back in March after a lengthy illness. She fought the good fight for quite some time and unfortunately lost her battle at the end. May she rest in peace and we’ll keep Jack in our thoughts.

Glad to hear that Joe Cervantes of Borden Dairy Northeast is doing well after a potential health scare. Joe is a legend in the dairy industry and well known from his tenure at Crowley Foods, HP Hood and Farmland Dairies. He was going for a regular check-up when he was informed of some “blockage” that should be looked at. Well, five stints later and a day off to recuperate, Joe is right back on the job and not missing a beat and is thankful that everything was caught when it was. Continued good health!

Congratulations to Orlando Velez who landed a spot as northeast regional manager for F. Gavina & Sons. Gavina produces the Don Francisco, La Llave and Gavina brands of coffee and will be new to the Northeast market. Orlando will certainly bring his expertise and knowledge of the category from his many years with Café Bustelo and recently with Advantage Sales & Marketing. Best wishes, Orlando.

Well, that will do it for this month. Please let me know how you like this version of our annual market study. I welcome your feedback at or 201-250-2217 and look forward to seeing you out and about.