Metro Beat

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Welcome to 2019. I trust you all had a terrific holiday season and are ready to start the new year with energy and focus. We all look to this time of year as an opportunity for new things and hope for a better year than the previous one. In all likelihood this coming year will bring a variety of changes to our industry and we look forward to being there for you to discuss and report on them. Happy New Year. I hope 2019 is a great one for you and your loved ones.

I won’t dwell on the King Kullen/Stop & Shop deal in this space, as we have ample coverage on page one of this issue and we blasted an email news alert right after it happened. (If you want to be on our email alert list, just let me know.) What I will say, though, is that it is sad that another long tenured local customer will no longer be on our landscape and it seems as though every year brings another similar story.

A happy retirement to Bill Costello of Jetro/Restaurant Depot who is retiring after 37 years at the company. Bill held a variety of responsibilities at Jetro/RD but was predominately in perishables procurement positions. More interestingly, Bill commuted from Pennsylvania every day (via train.) to College Point, Queens where the company located. When he first joined the big wholesale cash & carry supplier, its offices were located on Manhattan’s West Side and the commute was waaay easier. Ever the trooper, Bill lengthened his commute and continued his efforts on behalf of Jetrot/RD. Kudos Bill on a long successful career and happy retirement.

The New Year rang in with a positive sound for Bob Cignarella and his team at RDD Associates. Effective February 1 the big perishables broker will handle the Siggi’s Skyr yogurt line (a division of Lactalis USA) in the metro New York/New Jersey markets. Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland and is a strained non-fat yogurt made by incubating skim milk with live active cultures. Then the whey, the water naturally found in milk, is strained away to make for a much thicker, creamier and concentrated yogurt. It takes four times the milk to make one cup of Siggi’s compared to regular yogurt. The Siggi’s line will join the Stonyfield yogurt line (also a division of Lactalis) at RDD which was appointed for representation last January. Congrats.

Kudos to the good folks at Krasdale Foods and the New York Yankees as they teamed up once again for the annual Yankees Holiday Food Drive. The event is held at Yankee Stadium every holiday season and this great holiday tradition rewards any fan donating at least 30 pounds of non-perishable food with two complimentary tickets to a Yankee game in 2019. New York Yankee VP of marketing, Deb Tymon told us, “This started in 1994 and we totaled 2,000 pounds of donations that year. Thanks to partners like Krasdale we have grown tremendously, and this year will receive 90,000 pounds of food (that’s two truckloads) from Krasdale alone.” Gus Lebiak, Alpha 1 Marketing EVP/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 involved.

Well done to Mitch DiMatteo and his team at Inspired Foods on another successful year of business as he and his gang toasted the holidays with a soiree at their Ocean Twp., NJ offices with customers and principals on hand to mingle and celebrate the season. The big bakery broker is now entering its seventh year of business and has grown into other markets as well as dominate the local bakery scene. Congrats.