Metro Beat

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I hope this column finds everyone enjoying the summer and the beautiful weather we have been experiencing so far in the Northeast. Between all of the industry golf outings, dinners and store openings there certainly has been ample time to get out and enjoy the season and all of our friends in the industry. Speaking of such, kudos to Steve Heggelke, Michael Bozzuto, Joy Sgro and everyone at Bozzuto’s for putting together a first class affair at their recent vendor golf outing and Merchandising Marketplace 2013. The big event occurred at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut and the typical huge crowd was on hand to enjoy a great event. Special credit to Steve H. for the awarding of more than 250 door prizes in the span of seven minutes! Can anybody say John Moschitta/Fedex??

And speaking of Bozzuto’s, the transition of the Bogopa/Food Bazaar business has been going extremely well in the first six months and Metro NY area manager Sean Desmond tells us that Bozzuto’s has formally set up a Metro NY office to support that business as well as be ready for any future opportunities. The new address is 581 Main Street, Suite 640, Woodbridge, NJ07095 and Sean welcomes everyone to stop by and see him.

Big news came to the offices of Allegiance Retail Services, LLC with word that Jason Ferreira and his family would be converting their five Met Food bannered stores on Long Island and NYC to the Foodtown banner. The first of the stores making the switch is the New Hyde Park, LI store which will occur by the summer’s end and, as the rest roll over, we will let you know.

Also from Allegiance Retail Services came word that Jacqueline Gomes has been appointed to the position of corporate dietitian. Jacqueline is well known in the industry from her tenure at Pathmark and A&P and will provide nutritional information and shopping tips to customers of Allegiance member stores, which operate under such banners as Foodtown, D’Agostino’s, Freshtown and LaBella Markets.

Glad to hear that good things are happening for old friend Angelo Scialfa and his agency, the Fox Run Group. Many of you know of Ang from his days of directing sports sales at PennState and after a long career there he broke out on his own a few years ago with a firm that specializes in sports marketing and sponsorships, promotion and sales representation. We hear that his firm just picked up the rights for representation of the PSU Alumni group and has several other big Sports and Marketing projects in the hopper that he is awaiting approval on. Angelo can be reached at 609.259.1910. Good luck!

We were shocked to learn that Jimmy Aiello of Omni Foods had been knocked for a loop last year with a diagnosis of the dreaded big “C.” Fortunately, we were glad to see Jimmy back on his feet and peddling his lines this past July after successful treatments and a bone marrow transplant. His spirits are good and we wish him well in his recovery.

Congratulations to Jim Regan and his bride Susan on their 25th wedding anniversary. Jim tells us that all is going well at his new business home with RDD Associates and he is building up the produce division there with longtime friend Sal Zacchia. Jim and Sal bring more than 50 years of produce experience to the table for Bob Cignarella and his team and it should be the beginning of a terrific run for all parties.

Carive Imports picked up a good man recently with the hiring of Eddy Torres as national sales director for the importer and distributor of Domincan and Caribbean food products. Eddy was the longtime EVP at Rowland Coffee/Café Bustelo and Kraft and was most recently at Anpesil after the sale of Bustelo to the J.M. Smucker Co. Best wishes in the new spot to Eddy as he brings his sales flair and expertise as well as a renewed enthusiasm back to the trade.

Fairway Market opened its 13th unit at the end of July in the Chelsea section of Manhattan, their fifth unit in Manhattan. The store is a 17,000 square foot marvel and will be managed by Shante Jackson. Shante is a real success story as a longtime Fairway employee who has risen through the ranks. She started as an administrative assistant to vice chairman Howie Glickberg, and continually outperformed her job responsibilities wherever she was placed. So much so that Shante will now have responsibility for the newest jewel in the Fairway crown!

Speaking of Fairway, be sure to read the story on page 1 of this issue to see how  the company fared in its first financial posting since becoming a publicly traded company in April.

Congrats to Cathy Brennan who will be joining JOH as Wakefern business manager. Cathy is well known in the Metro NY food industry from her years at Nestle DSD (Edy’s) and prior to that from her years at M&H Sales & Marketing.

And meanwhile, the Key Food momentum keeps going. Joe Doleh opened up his fourth Key Food overall and his first on Staten Island on Port Richmond Avenue. The store has been entirely overhauled and is a spectacular looking 9,200 square feet with hardwood floors and wide aisles for a nice shopping experience. Best wishes Joe, Amy and Danny and we look forward to your next S.I. location soon.

Anyone looking for a season ending golf outing should consider the Robert and Owen McKeever Jr. tournament. The outing will be held October 3 at the Montclair golf club in West Orange, NJ and all proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Greater New Jersey Chapter. Nearly every customer and vendor in the area is represented on the golf and steering committees for this event and the day provides a wonderful networking opportunity and helps raise funds for a terrific cause. And who wouldn’t want to be there to lend a hand to all around good soul and great guy, Owen McKeever?? For more information call the CF Foundation chapter at 201.457.1800.

Another tournament to consider is the Tri-State Italian-American Congress, which will hold its  annual golf outing September 24 at the Glen Head C.C. and Engineers C.C. in Roslyn, NY. The event helps raise funds for scholarships for underprivileged children of Italian-American descent and for more information contact Rich DeSimone of Alpha-1 Marketing at 914.697.5352 or

Finally, Jim Rogers, president and CEO of the Food Industry Alliance (FIA), tells us that the 17th annual Red Carpet Salute to Industry Excellence will be as big and good as it ever has been. The big evening will be held October 30 at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, NY and will feature former New York Giant and Super Bowl MVP, Otis “OJ” Anderson as the guest speaker. However, the real jewel of this event is the networking atmosphere and opportunity to mingle with every food retailing concern doing business in the state of NY. As FIA chairman Mitch Klein of Krasdale Foods said, “The opportunity to interface with leading executive from companies operating throughout the EmpireState is unsurpassed. In fact, unprecedented. It is a one of a kind event.”  I know it’s on my calendar, Mitch….

Well that’s it from here all. Check out our trade calendar for all of the events around the area and I’m sure I’ll see you out and about. As always you can reach me at 201.250.2217 or