Welcome to the October issue of Food Trade News. This is a truly a special issue because we are celebrating 50 years of Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU). As a graduate of SJU, though not in food marketing, this project has been a labor of love and close to my heart. It all started with a lunch last December when Jeff Metzger and I met with Bob Higgins and George Latella to discuss the idea of producing this homage not only to the past 50 years of Food Marketing at SJU, but to look forward to where Food Marketing is at SJU in 2012 and where it is headed. After a few meetings and a final approval we were off and running. Many people put much effort into this project, namely Bob Higgins, Christine Hartmann, George Latella, Rich George and the entire Food Marketing department on the SJU side and our Best-Met team – Terri Maloney, Karen Fernandez, Beth Pripstein, and of course, our publisher, Jeff Metzger. The talented team at E-Ink, led on this project by Jenny Jones, produced this masterpiece and we salute them for their creativity and talent. A special thanks to all the advertisers who have a great understanding of what SJU has meant to them either personally or to their business and to those we interviewed about their SJU Food Marketing education. To Bob Higgins, many thanks for allowing Terri and me into the SJU Food Marketing archives. We traveled through time, touching so many pieces of the Academy of Food Marketing history, including the May 1962 issue of Food Trade News covering the groundbreaking of Villiger Hall! So, we wish “cent’anni” to the entire Saint Joseph’s University Food Marketing family! May you see one hundred years of educating the future of the food industry. The Hawk will never die!
I doubt there is anyone out there who would disagree with me when I say that Jim McCaffrey is one of the most humble, respected, unassuming, generous, hard-working people in our industry. So, it should come as no surprise that when the Princeton, NJ McCaffrey’s celebrated its 20th birthday, the community came out in droves to thank the Jim for his commitment its residents. For the past three years, the Princeton McCaffrey’s has held a Specialty Food Showcase in the courtyard of the Princeton Shopping Center. This year it was the last weekend in September. The tony yet politically correct Princetonites love this event as it mixes unending sampling of the finest specialty products and charity. The $5 entry fee went to the Crisis Ministry which helps people in need in Mercer County, NJ. Last year more than $4,000 was raised during the two day show. This year, store manager Steve Carney had a little surprise in store for Jim and his son Jim IV, who I affectionately call “number four.” Nine Princeton community organizations presented congratulatory certificates with the mayor of Princeton Township, Chad Goerner, topping it off by proclaiming September 29 as “Jim McCaffrey Day.” The bakery department prepared their gift – a four foot long three dimensional cake in the shape of the Princeton store for the guests to enjoy. Jim addressed the crowd saying, “I am truly blessed to be a part of this community; blessed to have customers who allow us to be a part of this community.” They are also quite lucky to have Jim there, too. Among the guests was the newest addition to the McCaffrey family, James McCaffrey V, who was born on September 4 to Jim IV and his wife, Maggie. Big sister Grace was also on hand for the festivities. Congratulations all the way around!
You may remember that I wrote about the Broadheadsville, PA ShopRite opening this past summer and how the Kinsley family put their best efforts to build the greenest supermarket possible to reduce waste, protect the environment and create a more energy-efficient shopping experience. Well their work has paid off. In late September it was announced that the new store was awarded the GreenChill Gold Certification. This prestigious award, distributed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognizes food retailers who have implemented sustainable cooling systems, thereby reducing refrigerant emissions and decreasing their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The ShopRite of Brodheadsville is one of only 30 national recipients of gold certification. The EPA’s goal in creating this award is to encourage retailers to act as partners to transition their stores to environmentally friendlier refrigerants, eliminate environmentally and financially costly refrigerant leaks and to adopt green refrigeration technologies and other environmental practices.
On October 5, Brown’s ShopRite and the non-profit group UpLift Solutions cut the ribbon on a renovated basketball court for local youth to enjoy at 61st Streetand Baltimore Avenuein Southwest Philadelphia. The area was dilapidated and needed new asphalt for the court itself, as well as new backboards and baskets. Efforts to help revitalize neighborhoods in the city and finding ways to involve the city’s youth in sports and after school fun that is safe is an ongoing concern of local Philadelphia politicians as well. In attendance at the opening of the newly refurbished court to play an inaugural game were: Jeff Brown, president and CEO of Brown’s ShopRite; State Senator Anthony Williams; Philadelphia Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell; State Representative Ron Waters; Deputy Mayor and Community Resources Commissioner Michael DiBerardinis; and Susan Slawson, first deputy commissioner of recreation and programs. Play Ball!
John Vena, Inc. recently announced that its newly updated website is now live. After months of redesigning, the new site includes a multitude of additional features that meet consumer demands for more information. The clean and intuitive layout allows consumers to easily navigate the entire site. In addition they have added more product information and additional features to the website including a Grower’s Gallery page. The Grower’s Gallery reiterates Vena’s mission to serve as the connection between the farmers they have come to know and trust and their customers. This new page gives an in-depth look at some of the farmers Vena partners with. There is an array of growers featured ranging from across the globe to more local growers. Each entry contains information about the grower, their crops, and why their region is important for those items. The new website integrates various social media (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) so consumers can stay connected and find updates easily. The homepage also includes updated tabs that provide a faster way to navigate through the website including: Featured Recipes, Product Information, Product Fun Facts, Corporate Philosophy, and much more. John Vena, president of John Vena, Inc. expressed his excitement for the new website launch and hopes consumers and customers will explore and enjoy it. “We have added many new products and recipes. I am particularly pleased with the Grower’s Gallery, it really helps to connect our customers to our suppliers,” Vena stated. You can check out the new site at www.johnvenaproduce.com.