Soup To Nutz

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It’s that time of the year again, when we experience back to school, New York Fashion Week, crisp fall weather and the 11th anniversary of the horrific attack on our country. September 11th will forever be in our memories and in our hearts, especially here on the East Coast. We must resolve to never forget and never back down from those who hate our way of life. Let freedom fly!

My obsession with reusable shopping bags has not abated. In fact, it’s getting worse! I have accumulated so many that they are taking over the trunk of my car. I have found many more uses for them beyond toting groceries, therefore many shapes and sizes are necessary to carry out the variety of tasks I have conjured up. So, I found it interesting when I heard that ShopRite is introducing America’s first durable yet compostable non-woven reusable shopping bag. The bag will be offered in selected ShopRite supermarkets throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. “ShopRite has a long history of innovation and we continue to look for new ways to ‘green’ our business practices,” said Karen Meleta, ShopRite spokesperson. “We are proud to be the first retailer in theUnited States to offer these alternative new bags to our customers.”

As part of its ongoing commitment to the environment, ShopRite stores promote the use and purchase of reusable shopping bags. It is one of the only supermarkets that still offers a rebate to consumers using non-disposable bags. In 2011, more than 58 million bags were reused by ShopRite customers and in the last five years these conscientious customers have kept almost 200 million bags out of landfills. ShopRite is working with Earthwise Bag Company, Inc., ofCalifornia, the exclusive supplier of these biodegradable and compostable bags. This new 100% biodegradable and compostable non-woven shopping bag is manufactured from a combination of corn and tapioca fibers, using by-products from the food manufacturing process. This re-use of “waste” materials further reduces materials entering the waste stream. The bags are printed with water-based inks, sewn with cotton thread, contain no petroleum and are non-toxic and carry the ASTM 6400 certification, a national standard for biodegradability and compostability awarded by the U.S. Composting Council. They also carry a distinctive leaf embossing, which sets them apart from other bags in the marketplace.

The new bags will serve customers for at least 100 uses and can be composted at a commercial composting facility, where they will biodegrade within 90 days. The bags are machine washable and durable as they have been tested to hold 50+ lbs.

Meleta added, “We continue to encourage our customers to move toward reusable bags whenever possible and we are making more products available to consumers that are green or more sustainable by design, and we are making sure these products are available as interest in them increases.” Are you doing your part to make plastic bags disappear forever?

The $1 million dollar grand prize winner has been declared in the Sizzlin’ Summer Giveaway Collect & Win Game held by Acme Markets. He is Joseph Facciolo, a local dental student who was quite surprised. “I’m still in disbelief that I’ve actually won the grand prize,” said Facciolo. “I’m finishing up dental school, so it probably goes without saying that this is going to help with some of my loans. After that, I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I do know this has changed my life.”

The contest began on May 18, and Facciolo and other Acme customers collected game tickets throughout the summer for a chance to win their share of prizes, including the $1 million grand prize. Other prizes included cars, boats, vacations, backyard makeovers, a year’s worth of groceries, gift cards and instant cash prizes. To date, a number of individuals have won, but Facciolo is the biggest winner. He was presented with his winner’s check at the Acme in Bala Cynwyd, PA.“We conducted the Sizzlin’ Summer Giveaway Collect & Win Game because we wanted to provide opportunities for guests to win great, if not, life-changing prizes,” said Keith Wyche, president of Acme. “I think the promotion has been a tremendous success and congratulate Joe on being the big winner. I would also like to thank our customers who have been playing the game and remind them that there are still some great prizes yet to be claimed.”

Since its opening in June of 2011, the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market (PWPM) has experienced some growing pains. A few merchants left the market and now replacing one of them in units H6 and H7 is wholesale produce distributor Philly Produce LLC, which opened for business on August 26. Philly Produce is staffed by salesmen Jim Canterino and Jose “Blue” Flores. The firm is a subsidiary of Wuhl Shafman Lieberman Corp., based in Newark, NJ. Philly Produce offers a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables, with a specialty in tropical products. This includes diverse precut fruits and vegetables, which are processed by Wuhl Shafman Lieberman and shipped fresh daily to Philly Produce. For many years, Canterino and Flores both were salesmen for another firm, which had previously occupied the units that now house Philly Produce. Canterino’s produce career started in 1988 with involvement in his family’s Philadelphia area retail and wholesale produce business. Sonny DiCrecchio, president and CEO of the PWPM said, “We are thrilled to have Philly Produce become part of our market. Jim and Blue are well-respected, possess a lot of experience and add a great deal to our market’s already-competitive nature. We welcome them and wish Philly Produce a long and fruitful future here.” The PWPM is now home to 23 wholesale produce businesses enjoying combined annual sales exceeding $1 billion. If you haven’t been there yet, you should. It’s worth the trip!