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It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of New JerseyOceanCounty garage workers, now known as the “Ocean 16,” who purchased a Powerball ticket at the Acme Market in Tuckerton “Little Egg Harbor.” And in true charitable fashion, Acme is donating $5,000 of the prize money they receive for selling one of the three winning tickets to the Greater Tuckerton Ministerial Association Interchurch Food Pantry and an additional $5,000 to local community non-profit organizations in the form of gift cards. “We want to share our good fortune of being the store that sold one of the winning Powerball Jackpot tickets with the local community who supports our stores,” said Phil Weber, store director of the Tuckerton Acme. “The Little Egg Harbor Acme is excited that we were the lucky store for one of our customers. We want to share our luck with our local community. Acme is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work. We are proud to have the opportunity to further our community involvement.” This area of New Jersey was especially hard hit during Super Storm Sandy in 2012, so this win has uplifted the spirits of six of the winners whose homes were lost. Another winning ticket was sold at the Stop & Shop in South Brunswick, but no winner has come forward so far.

Weis Markets rolled out its annual “Your Neighbors, Our Farmers” local produce program last month, which promotes the quality and longevity of Weis Markets’ local produce and highlights the contributions of 13 farmers and their families who supply Weis Markets’ stores with produce. “We were local before local was cool,” Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets’ executive vice president of sales and merchandising, said. “Although this is the peak season for buying local produce, we are year-round customers of locally sourced agricultural products, including milk, eggs, pork, beef and poultry. We appreciate these hardworking men and women and thanks to the enduring relationships we’ve established with our local farmers, we’ve been able to offer a wide variety of local produce and have been doing so for more than a hundred years.”

In 2013, Weis Markets will purchase more than 25 million pounds of local produce from approximately 150 farmers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. Each Weis Markets’ store will display “Your Neighbors, Our Farmers” banners with photographs of the farmers supplying Weis Markets. These photos will be featured in Weis Markets’ produce departments by region and product, as well as in weekly circulars. The photos can also be viewed at WeisMarkets.com. I hear that Jersey peaches are supposed to be extra sweet this year. Enjoy!

Giant/Carlisle  recently concluded its annual in-store balloon campaign for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals.

By purchasing CMN paper balloons at the checkout for a dollar each, customers raised $540,888 from June 23 through July 13. “The passion and enthusiasm of our associates for Children’s Miracle Network is second to none,” said Rick Herring, Giant/Carlisle’s president. “I am always humbled to see the overwhelming response from our generous customers, and I want to thank everyone for their support of children who are fighting for good health.” Giant/Carlisle has been a proud supporter of CMN Hospitals for 17 years, recently eclipsing the $30 million fundraising mark. Each year Giant/Carlisle conducts balloon and candle paper icon campaigns in support of children’s hospitals in the Danville/Altoona, PA, Baltimore, MD Washington, DC and Richmond, VA areas. In addition to in-store fundraising efforts, Giant/Martin’s associates also regularly volunteer at CMN hospital events, including radio and television telethons.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the alliance of premier hospitals for children, is a

non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children’s hospitals across North America. CMN Hospitals are well-known for providing the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind.

We are a little more than halfway through the 2013 golf season and the outings are really heating up. Redner’s Markets held its annual Gary W. Redner Memorial Golf Outing July 24 on five courses in Central Pennsylvania. The day was fabulous and the food was delicious as always, but the biggest surprise was that not one, not two, but THREE holes in one were shot! How often does that happen? Not often enough, golfers will say. Burris’ Brian Haley shot a hole in one on the 13th hole of the Chapel Hill Golf Club; and Supervalu had great representation with two of its players shooting holes in one: Greg Marbold on the 15th hole at the Manor Golf Club, and Gary Warner on the 8th hole of the Rich Maiden Golf Club. Congratulations!

Speaking of Redner’s Markets, its 44th store opened to rave reviews on August 7. Located in West Dover, DE, the store was formerly a Super Fresh. The Redner’s folks did a great job making the store look like a Redner’s from the minute the customers walk in the door. The clientele is a mixed bag of families and seniors, and a community of Amish folks live close by. Dick Redner had buggy hitches installed so these customers would have a place to park when shopping.

Due to the timing of the opening, the Redners and Supervalu’s Russ Reynolds weren’t able to attend the Supervalu holiday show, which was held once again at the Borgata in Atlantic City. I had the opportunity to meet Sam Duncan, CEO of Supervalu, who was very gracious and stopped to talk with everyone he met while traveling through the show. He spoke to the group of vendors and retailers the night before giving a little bit of his history.

Jeff Brown opened his eleventh ShopRite on August 1 on the former site of the Tasty Baking Company factory in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia. On hand to welcome the excited customers were Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes and former mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, not to mention a host of other Philly dignitaries. ShopRite of Fox Street is a whopping 71,000 square feet and has created more than 300 new jobs for local residents, as well as the community support Brown’s Super Stores is known for. “We are thrilled to be joining this community, which has been without a supermarket for more than twenty years,” said Brown, president and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores. “After operating supermarkets in Philadelphia for 25 years and collaborating with this local community for over three years, I believe we have developed one of the most innovative retail experiences available today.”

One feature of the new store is a Chickie’s and Pete’s Express. Pete Ciarrocchi, who owns the growing restaurant chain, was on hand to supervise his newest employees as they made some of the most popular menu items. Brown’s mission is to “Bring Joy to the Lives of the People We Serve,” and this store’s goal is to accomplish that mission through its innovative offerings. ShopRite of Fox Street represents Brown’s vision for the future of supermarkets, which includes affordable financial services through an in-store American Heritage Credit Union offering no-fee banking and QCare, a convenient care clinic. QCare will be operated by Resource for Human Development Family Practice and Counseling Network and will provide customers with affordable, quality healthcare offering flexible hours in a convenient location. The new store will also offer the free services of an on-site nutritionist, application assistance for public benefits, and free use of community rooms where local groups can safely gather and meet. It’s a must-see market.

The New Jersey State Board of Agriculture installed two new members on July 24 during its reorganization meeting held in Eastampton: David Klemm of Newton, representing the equine industry, and Santo John Maccherone of Mullica Hill, representing the fruit industry. “Dave Klemm from North Jersey and Santo John Maccherone from South Jersey are agricultural leaders,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “They bring their vast knowledge and experience to the state board of agriculture, which sets policy for the industry throughout the entire state. We look forward to working with them on many important issues.”

Klemm and his son, Bradley, second and third-generation farmers, own Waterwheel Farm, which has been in the family for 50 years. A horse boarding business has been in operation for 35 years and most of the farm’s 500 acres are used as pastureland for the horses. Klemm grows grass and hay for the horses and also raises beef and free-range turkeys.

Maccherone’s Circle M Farms is a fourth-generation family owned and operated business. He grows 150 acres of peaches and nectarines, 10 acres of apples, four acres of plums, 25 acres of asparagus and 150 acres of small grains in Mullica Hill, GloucesterCounty and Salem, SalemCounty. Maccherone also produces peach cider, peach preserves, peach salsa and plum cider under the Circle M label.

Also during the reorganization meeting, Robert Swanekamp, a Monmouth County flower and plant grower, was selected to serve as board president and Francisco Allende, a South Jersey peach farmer, as vice president. The State Board of Agriculture comprises eight members who serve for four years, with two members being replaced each year. By law, at least four of its members must represent the top commodity groups in the state. Members serve without salary. For more information, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/about/sba.

Here’s a “ocal entrepreneur makes good” story for you: a patent attorney turned ginger drink maker has won the Specialty Food Association’s first-ever advertising contest for specialty food professionals to tell a compelling story about their passion for specialty food. More than 70,000 votes were cast in the not-for-profit trade association’s “My Story, My Ad” contest to determine the Top 10 finalists. From the 373 inspiring stories about family businesses, culinary breakthroughs, childhood memories, career changes and more, came the winner: Reuben Canada of Canada Enterprises of Philadelphia for Jin+Ja: The Spark of Inspiration. This is Jin+Ja’s second honor this summer. The ginger drink won the Association’s 2013 sofi Award for outstanding beverage. Reuben’s reward for winning the ad contest is a free ad campaign and three-day trip to San Francisco, a $15,000 value. The ad will be featured in top specialty food trade magazines, online, and at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco next January. The contest is part of the association’s launch of its new brand: Specialty Food. Craft. Care. Joy. It is designed to highlight the people behind the small businesses that fuel the $86 billion specialty food industry and the innovative foods and beverages they create and bring to market. “The contest struck a chord,” says Ann Daw, president of the Specialty Food Association. “There are clearly so many wonderful stories to share about the joy and passion and hard work that go into making great food. Both Jin+Ja and runner up Awesome Bars especially stood out for our panel.”

Longtime Philadelphia wholesale produce distributor, M. Levin and Company, Inc., has launched a website in addition to its Facebook fan page. The addition of the website comes at the two-year anniversary of moving into the state-of-the-art Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM). The company was established in 1906 and is entirely owned and operated by third and fourth generation family members. M. Levin’s roots are in the banana ripening and distribution business but have expanded into a full-line wholesale produce house, with their specialties still being bananas plus tropical fruits and vegetables. M. Levin is one of the largest ripeners and banana foodservice distributors in the Mid-Atlantic region, ripening over 35,000 boxes weekly.

The website will give M. Levin’s customers, suppliers, as well as members of the public insight into the family’s rich history as well as providing an opportunity to connect with their buyers and salesmen, members of the family, and most importantly view M. Levin’s extensive list of products and services offered. The website will also be used as a tool to educate consumers as to what products are in season, to view products and services offered, give visitors the option to easily sign up for newsletters, and get price lists and additional information. Tracie Levin, general manager, sees this launch as something entirely new for their company. It was only in the past two years that the company has had an online presence with social media, on Facebook. In the near future the website may also allow for an online ordering platform, adding yet another facet to Levin’s growing business. The website can be viewed at: www.mlevinco.com

The circle of life continues as we send our condolences to Jan Gabriel of Paul Nester & Son Company on the loss of his mother, Irene Gabriel. Mrs. Gabriel passed away on July 28 in Wilkes-Barre, PA at 90. Throughout her life, Irene was an avid supporter of her hometown, Plymouth,  PA, and greatly enjoyed playing bridge. She will forever be known as a devoted and loving mother, grandmother and friend. Predeceased by her husband, Joseph M. Gabriel, she is survived by her children, Jan and his wife, Helen; David Gabriel and his wife Ana; and Diane McLaughlin and her husband Clark; five grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Contributions may be made to All Saints Parish, 66 Willow St., Plymouth, PA18651, in Mrs. Gabriel’s memory.

Birthday shout outs for the summery month of August go out to: Michael Bozzuto, Bozzuto’s; Jeff Bilk, Burris; Marty Delinski, Acme Markets; Ed Rogers, L&L Brokerage; Alvin Schwartz, LAS Assoc.; Frank Frazier, retired, Cargill; Jason Heilman, Seltzer’s Smoked Meats; Pam Hinkle, Knouse Foods; and a big birthday hug to my father Mario Maggio who taught me that there are three things we must give to our customers: high quality products with great service at a fair price, much like Publix’s president, Todd Jones said recently. Buon compleanno a tutti!

Celebrating marital bliss this month are: Nate and Judi Ostroff, Network Food Brokers; Lynda and Richard Szybowski, retired, Acme Markets; Dick and Kathy Bestany, of Best-Met; and Bill and Ann Speakman, Talbot Management. Congratulations!

The Jewish High Holidays are very early this year. So, to our industry friends and colleagues of the Jewish faith we send best wishes for a l’shanah tovah. Happy New Year!

Quote of the month: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high that we miss it but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michaelangelo

News we can use? Contact Maria at: mmaggio@best-met.com