This year’s Maryland Food Industry Hall of Fame class will be a very special one. For the first time ever, the inductees will be all women who have contributed significantly to the grocery business in their long and distinguished careers.
Esther Peterson, who is well known in food industry through her position as vice president of consumer affairs for Giant/Landover in the 1970s, had a lengthy and notable career serving in the fields of labor relations and consumer affairs. She held positions in the administrations of Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. She began her consumer affairs work in the Johnson administration and continued in the administration of President Jimmy Carter.
During her Giant career, she worked on grade labeling of food and persuaded the retailer to disclose when seafood had previously been frozen, a new practice at the time. She got Giant to add nutritional labeling to its private label products before it was required by Federal law and convinced Giant to use open dating, putting a date by which products like yogurt or milk should be sold. Until then, retailers used codes that consumers often did not understand.
Peterson later served as president of the National Consumers League. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and was named a delegate the United Nations as a UNESCO representative in 1993.
She died in 2007 at the age of 91.
Nancy Cohen is the owner of Eddie’s of Roland Park, a two-store independent supermarket operator in theBaltimorearea. Cohen, along with her son Michael Schaffer, today operates the company founded by her father Victor Cohen in 1944 in Baltimore City. A second Eddie’s location, inB altimore County, debuted in 1992.
Cohen has continued her father’s tradition of carrying the finest foods, offering a wide array of prepared foods and providing customers with a high level of service excellence and attention to detail, ensuring the company’s success for 68 years.