Soup To Nutz

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A year and three days after Superstorm Sandy smacked into the Jersey shore, Atlantic City looks as though nothing ever happened. The boardwalk was very crowded and the dunes seem a little higher than in the past few years, but the weather cooperated the weekend of November 1 as more than 450 food industry notables gathered at the Trump Taj Mahal to honor Rick Herring, president of Giant/Carlisle, as the Mid Atlantic Food Trade Association (MAFTO) person of the year for 2013. Rick, joined by his wife Patti and the top management team from Giant, including Manuel Haro, Jeff Beaulieu, Larry Stover and Jim Saccary and their wives enjoyed a weekend filled with great food, lots of “happy water” and fabulous music. Rick’s favorite band, the Eagles weren’t available, but the dinner dance committee, headed up by MAFTO president Ray Nemeth of Snyder’s/Lance and Mike Mackin of Schmidt Baking provided the next best thing: the best Eagles tribute band in the country, 7 Bridges, came all the way from Nashville to play for the crowd. Eighteen scholarships were awarded to college students for a total of $45,000, the most ever given out in MAFTO’s history! Next on the MAFTO schedule is the Monte Carlo Night/Christmas for All Kids dinner on Friday December 6 at Williamson’s in Horsham, PA. This event is a great way to celebrate the holidays with your co-workers and friends, and contribute to a worthy cause. Each guest is asked to bring a new, unwrapped, non-violent toy to the dinner. The toys will be donated to various DelawareValley charities for children who may not receive any toys if it weren’t for the generosity of the gentle folks in the food industry. For more information, go to: www.mafto.org.

We all know that hunger is an issue that must be continually addressed in our area. To that end, on November 8, Stroehmann Bakeries teamed up with Acme Markets and Giant/Carlisle to get a leg up on the fight against hunger. This rare joint sponsorship by the DelawareValley’s leading retailers was to help the Coalition Against Hunger in their uphill battle every day to feed those who are food insecure. In the month of September, 10 cents from each Stroehmann Bread purchase at Acme and Giant was earmarked for the coalition. A check totaling $45,000 was given to the coalition to further their efforts from the three sponsors. That’s a lot of bread! Nick Loggia of Stroehmann Bakeries gave the audience some staggering figures: there are more than 15,000 homeless people in Philadelphia; 7500 of them are unsheltered. Since SNAP benefits have been cut, those in need find themselves relying on the food pantries at the end of the month to assure food security for their families. There are many ways each and every one of us can help. To begin, go to: www.hungercoalition.org.

Additionally, Giant/Carlisle customers took action as part of September’s Hunger Action

Month to help feed those in need throughout their local communities as part of the AUSA division’s second in-store Bag Hunger campaign of the year, which ran from September 1 through September 21. This year, customers donated $511,407 at the checkout. “Thank you to all of our customers, associates and vendor partners who joined together to fight hunger in our communities,” said Herring. “Coupled with our spring Bag Hunger campaign, more than $1 million has been donated to our regional food bank partners this

year.”

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) held its annual Fresh Summit in New Orleans last month. This show is still one of the most exciting to attend. More than 18,000 attendees from 60 countries walked the floor checking out the new offerings from the produce and packaging industry. There was a vibrant feel in the air, and the internationality makes it mucho caliente! Part of the fun of this show is looking for new products to bring to our readers, because who would think there’s a new fruit or veggie out there? Well, think again, my friends. This year was no disappointment. So, what’s new in produce? First on my list is Maple Water from Canada, the new, serious competition to coconut water. It was refreshing with no aftertaste; surprisingly not sweet and has a long shelf life in its aseptic packaging. Another new product we found was freeze dried fruits and veggies called Snapz. Great taste, not mushy and individually portioned so the entire bag isn’t eaten in one sitting, which could happen, that’s how good they are. Edible stickers, another new sighting, are supposed to get children to eat their veggies and fruits, but it looks more like a version of Mr. Potato Head, so I give it a thumbs down. The last new product I saw that piqued my interest was already cooked corn on the cob with packaging that gave it a year-long shelf life. Not a bad option at all.

The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association’s (IDDBA) 50th annual seminar and expo, Dairy-Deli-Bake 2014, will be held in Denver at the ColoradoConvention Center, June 1-3. The theme for the show is CampFoodie. This event is called the “show of shows” because it’s the one conference that offers an extensive seminar program that has meaningful content for personal and professional growth; pre-qualified retail buyers, merchandisers, and executives who are ready and willing to do business; more than 1,700 booths representing the very best products and services for the fresh food categories; and world class merchandising ideas and demonstrations with actionable ideas. More than 8,500 attendees are expected for the three-day event. For more information call 608.310.5000 or visit www.iddba.org.

There were many store openings this past month or so, one of which was a Wegmans in the Philadelphia suburb of Montgomeryville. From the road, the store looks like a small town with an added twist of being attached to the Montgomery Mall. Jo Natale of Wegmans reported that more than 1,000 people were lined up for the 7:00 a.m. opening. Some of the tweaks made to this 126,000 square foot store are an expanded fish section, a bigger emphasis on “Family Pak,” a peanut butter station and – of interest to me – a new kind of cheese case: a $60,000 European style “affinage” case that controls the humidity and aging of the cheese. There are only four of these cases in the U.S. and Wegmans has them all. I can’t wait to go back when the crowds die down to get a better look…and taste!

Kudos to Wakefern’s Cheryl Williams and JOH Produce’s Linda Gilroy, who were awarded the “Best of the Best” at the recent meetings of their respective chapters of the Network of Executive Women (NEW) – Metro New York and Greater Philadelphia. These two women give more than their fair share of time to NEW and are very deserving

of this recognition. Both of these chapters held successful events this past month. The Metro NY Chapter invited Kevin Coupe of MorningNewsBeat.com to speak to more than 200 CPG industry members at the Liberty House in Jersey City about “The Future of Retail.” The Greater Philadelphia Chapter held its event, a panel discussion titled “Dynamic Leadership in the Evolving Retail Environment,” at Hershey’s Chocolate World moderated by Amy Hahn of the Hershey Co.

The circle of life continues as we send out a warm welome to little Miss Layla Harlow Ostroff, daughter of Jordana and Loren Ostroff and the first grandchild of Judi and Nate Ostroff of Network Food Brokers. Layla arrived on Sunday, November 3 at 1:18 a.m., giving her grandparents enough time to get to the hospital in Philadelphia from the MAFTO Dinner Dance in Atlantic City. Baby and parents are doing well and her grandparents are over the moon! Congratulations!

We send condolences to the families of two candy industry giants this month. Carl Goldenberg, the third-generation scion of the family that made the iconic Philadelphia candy, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews died October 14 at the age of 85. Goldenberg entered the family business after graduating from Penn State as an economics major. He guided the business from its original headquarters in Kensington before heading over to Feltonville and then to the Northeast. The company was sold in 2003. His wife Barbara reminisced that his life was all about the business, family and golf, but mostly it was all about chocolate. “He never got sick of Peanut Chews,” she said. “And he never got tired of chocolate. He loved food.” Goldenberg was the past president of the National Confectioners Association and the Philadelphia branch as well. He also served his country as an Air Force lieutenant in the Korean War. “He was a kind and caring man who loved his family,” and was “as sweet as his chocolate,” according to Barbara. He is also survived by two sons, Samuel and David, who was the last Goldenberg to run the company; and five grandchildren.

Dick Eisman, also known as “The Candyman,” died September 27 at the age of 85. He was a native of Philadelphia and attended Overbrook High School and Pennsylvania State University. He served in the Army Signal Corps. during World War II. In his early years, Dick worked for his father, Charles, and with his brother, Stanley, at the family owned E. B. Evans Company. After years in the syrup business, he began his lifelong career in the candy industry where he started the Dick Eisman Company. During that time, he served as president of both the Philadelphia Candy Salesmen’s and the Central Pennsylvania Candy Clubs. He was elected to the NATD Candy Honor Roll for nine consecutive years and in 1966 he was honored by the National Candy Wholesalers Association as Candy Ambassador. In 1980, Dick was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame, located in Hershey, PA., where his daughters were privileged to present him with that honor. Dick eventually merged with The Eisman Gleit organization, now known as Eisman Gleit Four Star, LLC where he says he was fortunate to have worked with his brother Stan, nephew Brett, and partner Mort Gleit. Dick retired from the candy industry in 1998. He loved his work, his customers, and the factories he represented. He truly had fun selling candy. Dick enjoyed playing golf, baking, and assembling puzzles. What he enjoyed most was spending time with friends and family. He is survived by daughters Susan Ann Hacke and Cherri Beth Eyl; six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Stanley and Esther Eisman. Donations can be made to: www.THON.org; www.philabundance. org; or www.autismspeaks.org.

Birthday shout outs for the thankful month of November go to: Jim Mullen, Giant/Carlisle; Mike Mackin, Schmidt Baking; Curt Gruber, Acosta; Mike Marano, Force One; Pat McCarthy, retired, Ocean Spray; Anthony Maglio Jr., Maglio Sausage; and me, still crazy after all these years! Buon compleanno a tutti!

Celebrating marital bliss are: Jay and Kelly Orfetel, BBU; Linda and Chuck Naddeo, HP Hood; and Charlie and Pat Mallowe, retired, SJU. Happy anniversary!

As we gather with friends and family for this most American of holidays, please take a minute to remember and say a prayer for our troops at home and abroad who continue to sacrifice every day for our way of life. Even in these tumultuous times, we have much for which we should be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Quote of the month: “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey