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Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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FPFC crowd sets record at charity luncheon

The membership of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and guests went beyond themselves as they set a new record for charitable donations at the annual December Holiday Charity luncheon held in Cerritos, CA., on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

A total of $ 130,545 was raised for Caterina’s Club, an Orange County, CA, charity that focuses on providing a nightly dinner to underprivileged kids. Currently, the club provides about 1,000 meals a night at various locations in Southern California. 14 Chef-1165-600-450-80Chef Bruno Serato, owner of Anaheim White House Restaurant, who is the founder and chairman of the Caterina’s Club charity, with a family the charity helped to get a house. In addition, Chef Bruno Serato of The White House Restaurant in Anaheim, CA, has been spreading the message of “feeding the kids” throughout the country. Similar efforts are being launched in several other cities.

The concept began in 2005 when Chef Serato’s mother, Caterina, implored him to provide a meal for some local kids who were going hungry. Serato served up a free pasta meal that night for dozens of underprivileged kids and he has been doing so every night since. His group has served about 1 million meals to children in the past decade. Often these kids are living in rundown motels because their parents are scraping by trying to come up with enough money to make it through another day. Saving money to move is a virtual impossibility.

Serato, who spoke at the luncheon along with a young mother with two children who he has helped, said he has recently expanded his effort by helping many families move out of these motels and into more permanent residences. Caterina’s Club often provides the first and last month’s rent as is required by many landlords. This is often a huge barrier to moving for these families, who live a hand to mouth existence.

Auctioneers Bill Lalliberte of WJL Distributors and celebrity Frankie Avalon kept the crowd entertained and constantly reminded them to help “feed the kids.” The duo have provided this “auctioneering” service several different times over the years. Lalliberte’s irreverence combines well with Avalon’s celebrity to incite the crowd to be extra generous.The more than 350 attendees responded by bidding up every item, often well over its value.

Among the donated items were show tickets to a Frankie Avalon concert provided by the singer, as well as dozens of tickets to local sporting events featuring the Lakers, Dodgers, Kings and Clippers. The Produce News got in on the festivities by donating a full-page, four-color ad. The item led to a spirited bidding contests with two companies battling back and forth. Eventually Fernando Vargas of Cal Fresco LLC won the item with a $ 3,000 donation. He immediately donated it back, and for the same price Bill Brooks of Westlake Distributing won the ad. So in essence, the charity bucket received a double donation for the ad placement.

Also among the most popular items were outings with some of the local retailers, including Kent Kuwata of Smart & Final, Roger Schroeder of Stater Bros., Alfred Cano of Northgate Markets, Miguel Garcia of Ralph’s Grocery Co., Raul Gallegos of Bristol Farms, Tracy Ramirez of Ralph Grocery Co. and Mark Carroll of Gelson’s Markets.

Before the auction began, Chef Serato told the audience that he came this year to thank them for last year’s unbelievable donation of more than $ 100,000. The anticipation was that the $ 100,000 number would be tough to top.

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Vallarta sets annual toy giveaway

Vallarta Supermarkets said Tuesday it will host its annual toy giveaway this weekend at 11 stores in central California.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the chain will have large toy displays from which children can choose; they will also be able to take a free photo with Santa Claus, the company said.

The displays will each include an average of 1,500 toys per store, geared to ages 5 to 12, with half the toys designated for boys and half for girls, a chain spokeswoman told SN. Vallarta purchases the toys itself, she noted.


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“As a community partner, Vallarta thanks local residents for their continued loyal support,” the company said. The toy giveaway, which the company has done for more than five years, is “a gift back to the community,” it added.

Participating stores are located in the Bakersfield-Fresno area north of Los Angeles, “where the communities we serve really appreciate this event and really look forward to it every year,” the spokeswoman said.

She said the 44-store chain, based in Sylmar, Calif., in the San Fernando Valley, hosts other events during the year at its stores in the Southern California area. 

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Russia sets up domestic food aid programme

Turkish export Russia +30%
Russia sets up domestic food aid programme

In the first nine months of this year, Turkey exported 30% more fruit and vegetables to Russia. That means Russia has a share of 53% in Turkish export. Moroccan exporters are more cautious. Although the country is looking to increase export to Russia, exporters also fear a repetition of last year’s events, when the Russian market was flooded with fruit from Morocco, Egypt, South Africa and Turkey, causing many exporters to suffer losses. Prices in Russia showed varying trends in September, with lemons, for instance, getting 25% more expensive, while prices for oranges and grapes went down. Russia is also looking to set up a domestic food aid programme, with the government buying products for social organizations. And a shipment of illegal top fruit was intercepted in the city of Tula. The apples were confiscated, the pears sent back.

The EU made a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the Russian boycott of Polish fruit and vegetables. Russia says it blocks trade because of diseases, but according to the EU, the measures are disproportional, because only 0.1% of shipments were found to be contaminated. This is about the extra sanctions against Poland, in addition to the boycott in response to the European sanctions.

Ukraine will not impose countersanctions
Ukraine also objected to the tougher Russian rules. Ukraine adjusted its phytosanitary control system in response to the trade agreement with the EU. The Eastern European country is convinced that additional Russian sanctions will follow, as announced last week. Ukraine says it will not take countermeasures. Russian import is inspected according to protocols, without political interference. For the export, Ukraine will look for new markets, including Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Polish apples intercepted
In Tula, a city south of Moscow, a large shipment of apples and pears from Poland was discovered. The apples were being stored in the city. The fruit was intended to be sold in the city. The inspection confiscated 96 boxes of apples, the Conference pears will be sent back.

Huge price differences Moscow
Prices for fruit and vegetables in Moscow show widely differing trends. According to the federal statistics bureau, a number of prices have gone down in September, while other products have become significantly more expensive. Cucumber prices went up by 5.8%, bananas became 6% more expensive, and lemons take the biscuit with a 25% increase. Other products got cheaper. Prices for grapes went down (-19.3%), carrots, potatoes, cabbage, beets and onions got 7.2-13.1% cheaper. Prices for pears, garlic, tomatoes and oranges decreased by 4.2%.

Russia sets up domestic food aid
The government in Moscow has adopted a plan to set up an internal food aid programme. Within the context of this programme, the state will buy agricultural products for social institutions, and invest in the food aid infrastructure. Another purpose of the programme, however, is to support the domestic agriculture industry within the WTO rules.

Turkish export to Russia +30%
In the period from January until September, Turkey exported 916,292 tonnes of vegetables in total. That’s 1% more than the same period last year. 907,238 tonnes were shipped then. Income from export has also gone up by 5%, to more than 434 million euros.

53% of Turkish export went to Russia, which means Russia remains the most important destination. Between January and September 2014, sales of fresh vegetables to Russia increased by 30%, reaching 413,602 tonnes. This increase amounted to 9% of the income, with 229 million euros. After Russia, the most important markets are: Bulgaria with 27 million euros; Germany with over 26 million euros; Ukraine with just over 23 million euros, and Romania with nearly 22 million euros. Tomatoes are the main export product, with 54% of the volume and 65% of the value. The first nine months of last year, 385,887 tonnes of tomatoes were exported, while this year the volume went up by 28% (493,795 tonnes) in the same period. Income from this supply went up by 14%, to over 280 million euros. Bell pepper export amounts to 49 million euros; cucumbers 30 million euros, onions 26 million and courgettes 20 million euros.

New approach Moroccan citrus exporters
The Moroccan export to Russia will get started soon. Authorities have taken measures in order to prevent last season’s mistakes. The authorities fear that Moscow, with the large amount of fruit coming from Egypt, South Africa and Turkey, will become an outlet for Moroccan fresh produce.
Last year, Morocco exported 586,000 tonnes of citrus, and the country increased its export to Russia from 120,000 to 200,000 tonnes of fruit. The Russian market proved unable to take up all the Moroccan fruit. Plummeting prices made the situation worse, causing growers, who worked with consignment sale, to suffer serious losses.

Moroccan authorities have implemented reforms this year. The most important of these is the establishment of a coordinating committee for citrus, bringing together specialists within the entire chain. The committee will closely follow the markets, and occupy itself with logistic aspects and export.

Supermarket Okay opens new branch in Ural
Russian retailer Okay has opened a new branch in Orenburg. The store has an area of 11,630 m2, and a sales area of 7600 m2. There’s room for 35,000 products. Okay comprises 56 hypermarkets and 35 supermarkets.

Publication date: 10/21/2014
Author: Rudolf Mulderij
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Lucky’s sets entries into four states

Lucky’s Market, Boulder, Colo., said Wednesday it plans to expand into four new states next year — Florida, Indiana, Wyoming and Michigan.

The company said it expects to open ground-up stores in Gainesville, Fla., in January, followed by locations in Bloomington, Ind., and Jackson Hole, Wyo., later in the year. It said it also plans to open a store in Ann Arbor, Mich., early in the year that it is acquiring from Kroger Co.


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The new stores will vary in size, the company said — 11,500 square feet in Jackson Hole; 30,000 square feet in Gainesville; and 43,500 square feet in Bloomington. Existing stores also vary widely in size, the company noted.

Lucky’s is a nine-unit chain of natural and specialty food stores with far-flung locations: two in Colorado (Boulder and Longmont), three in Missouri (Columbia, Ellisville and Rock Hill); and single units in Iowa City, Iowa; Louisville, Ky.; Billings, Mont., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Kroger sets hiring goal of 20,000 employees

Kroger Co. said Friday it plans to hire approximately 20,000 employees for permanent positions at its supermarket divisions.

The Cincinnati-based company did not indicate a timeframe for filling those positions.

“Kroger’s growth trajectory creates job opportunities for current and future employees. Right now our stores across the country have openings for bright, hard-working associates who are passionate about making a difference for customers every day,” said HR SVP Katy Barclay.

Kroger said those interested in applying for positions should go to www.Kroger.com/careers.

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Sprouts sets Alabama expansion

Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix, said it plans to expand into Alabama early next year, with a store in Birmingham among seven new locations it announced Tuesday.

Sprouts entered the Atlanta market area earlier this year with four stores.

Besides the Alabama store, six other locations are scheduled to open early in 2015, the company said: in Bakersfield and Daly City, Calif.; Liberty, Mo.; Scottsdale, Arizona; South Jordan, Utah, and its fifth Atlanta area store in Cumming, Ga.

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Sprouts sets Alabama expansion

Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix, said it plans to expand into Alabama early next year, with a store in Birmingham among seven new locations it announced Tuesday.

Sprouts entered the Atlanta market area earlier this year with four stores.

Besides the Alabama store, six other locations are scheduled to open early in 2015, the company said: in Bakersfield and Daly City, Calif.; Liberty, Mo.; Scottsdale, Arizona; South Jordan, Utah, and its fifth Atlanta area store in Cumming, Ga.

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Sprouts sets Alabama expansion

Sprouts Farmers Market, Phoenix, said it plans to expand into Alabama early next year, with a store in Birmingham among seven new locations it announced Tuesday.

Sprouts entered the Atlanta market area earlier this year with four stores.

Besides the Alabama store, six other locations are scheduled to open early in 2015, the company said: in Bakersfield and Daly City, Calif.; Liberty, Mo.; Scottsdale, Arizona; South Jordan, Utah, and its fifth Atlanta area store in Cumming, Ga.

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Key Fresh & Natural sets opening

Key Food Stores Co-operative said it would hold grand opening ceremonies for a new Key Fresh & Natural store in Manalapan, N.J., on Friday.

At 5,300 square feet, this new Key Fresh & Natural will offer customers a grab-and-go foods section and a full deli offering hot and cold catering service, specializing in 3- to 6-foot heroes and a full line of Boars Head products. The store also features a full meat department, bakery, dairy, frozen section and floral department, as well as a produce department with a variety of natural and organic products.

“I am so excited to open our doors to the community while providing customers with personalized service,” store owner Eddie Hamad said in a statement. “Utilizing my many years of experience in this industry, I look forward to offering freshness, quality, convenience, and savings; creating a superb shopping experience.”

Key Food is a retailer owned cooperative based in Staten Island, N.Y.

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WinCo sets Phoenix DC opening

TGF-FruitImageWinCo Foods, Boise, Idaho, said Friday it plans to begin shipping product from its new Phoenix distribution center on May 14.


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The 963,500-square-foot facility will initially ship approximately 500,000 cases per week to serve 19 WinCo stores in Arizona, Southern Nevada and Southern California, whose volume represents slightly more than half its capacity, the company said.

The facility, which has already begun receiving inventory, will be able to hold about 75,000 pallets, or approximately 3,000 full truckloads of goods, the company noted.

It includes approximately 500,000 square feet of dry grocery space; more than 360,000 square feet of perishables space, including six banana ripening rooms; plus offices and outbuildings. WinCo said there is sufficient space to expand the site by up to 50% in the future.

The distribution center will open with approximately 185 employees, though once it is operating at capacity it is expected to employ 320 people, the company said.

WinCo said the distribution center will be managed by Don Kellogg, who has managed the company’s Boise distribution center for the last few years.

WinCo operates 94 stores in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Arizona and Texas, plus four other distribution centers, in addition to Phoenix, in Boise; Woodburn and Myrtle Creek, Ore.; and Modesto, Calif.

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Natural Grocers sets strict standards for dairy

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has updated its standards for dairy so that it will only sell products from pasture-based farms that meet other requirements for animal welfare and sustainability.

The retailer’s criteria for dairy suppliers are:

  • Dairy animals must be grazed for a minimum of 120 days.
  • No animal byproducts in feed.
  • No hormones, including Bovine Growth Hormone.
  • No non-therapeutic drugs.
  • No cloned animals.
  • Animals are allowed to exhibit their natural behaviors.
  • Humane treatment.
  • Nutrition needs met.
  • Shelter provided as needed.
  • No GMO alfalfa in feed.

“By only carrying pasture-based dairy we are more transparent, we give our customers peace of mind and also expand the market for dairy farms that want to raise their animals on pasture,” Heather Isely, EVP, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, said in a statement.

Isely said that, in the Denver market, the cost for dairy items that meet its standards might be 10 cents more for a carton of yogurt or 80 cents more for a half gallon of milk.

The retailer created a dairy resource page on its website to educate consumers about its new requirements through articles and videos, like the one below.

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Natural Grocers sets strict standards for dairy

Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has updated its standards for dairy so that it will only sell products from pasture-based farms that meet other requirements for animal welfare and sustainability.

The retailer’s criteria for dairy suppliers are:

  • Dairy animals must be grazed for a minimum of 120 days.
  • No animal byproducts in feed.
  • No hormones, including Bovine Growth Hormone.
  • No non-therapeutic drugs.
  • No cloned animals.
  • Animals are allowed to exhibit their natural behaviors.
  • Humane treatment.
  • Nutrition needs met.
  • Shelter provided as needed.
  • No GMO alfalfa in feed.

“By only carrying pasture-based dairy we are more transparent, we give our customers peace of mind and also expand the market for dairy farms that want to raise their animals on pasture,” Heather Isely, EVP, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, said in a statement.

Isely said that, in the Denver market, the cost for dairy items that meet its standards might be 10 cents more for a carton of yogurt or 80 cents more for a half gallon of milk.

The retailer created a dairy resource page on its website to educate consumers about its new requirements through articles and videos, like the one below.

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Lunds sets opening for St. Paul store

Lund Food Holdings said Tuesday that its newest Lunds store, located in downtown St. Paul, Minn., will open May 15.


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The company said the store would be the first full-service grocery store in downtown St. Paul. It is located on the first level of the Penfield Apartments at Robert and 10th streets.

“There has been a renewed vitality taking place in downtown St. Paul. One thing the community has lacked, until now, is a full-service grocery store. Our store team of nearly 80 employees is eager to provide the community with this much-needed amenity,” Tres Lund, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Whether you live or work in and around the downtown area, we look forward to becoming your new neighbor.”

The 27,000-square-foot store, which will be open seven days a week, features premium choice beef, locally grown and USDA-certified organic produce, and a full-service deli. Additional amenities include Caribou Coffee, Bachman’s floral and St. Croix Cleaners dry cleaning.

“I am thrilled to welcome Lunds to downtown Saint Paul, as our downtown residents can finally enjoy a quality, full-service grocery store in their neighborhood,” St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman said. “Lunds’ investment is a crucial one as we continue to see many major exciting milestones across the city this year.”

Lund Food Holdings operates 12 Lunds and 11 Byerly’s grocery stores and one Lunds & Byerlys Kitchen in the Twin Cities and surrounding area.

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‘Small scale’ Wegmans sets opening

Wegmans Food Markets is set to open a “smaller scale” version of its store Sunday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Chestnut Hill store is 80,000 square feet — considerably smaller than Wegmans’ 138,000-square-foot unit in Northborough, Mass.


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“Virtually every department and category of product sold in our largest stores will be available in Chestnut Hill,” store manager Rich Boscia, said in a press release. “It’s a more efficient use of space, for sure, but we also were meticulous in selecting the must-haves that shoppers buy every week, along with the very best of what we have to offer, including prepared foods.”

A neighboring Wegmans Wine, Liquor & Beer opened its doors on March 29. The store is one of several the Rochester, N.Y.-based retailer plans for the Boston area, including a store in Burlington, Mass., set to open later this year.

Area Whole Foods stores recently lowered prices partially to defend against the expected competition from the Wegmans openings, an analyst said.



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‘Small scale’ Wegmans sets opening

Wegmans Food Markets is set to open a “smaller scale” version of its store Sunday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Chestnut Hill store is 80,000 square feet — considerably smaller than Wegmans’ 138,000-square-foot unit in Northborough, Mass.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“Virtually every department and category of product sold in our largest stores will be available in Chestnut Hill,” store manager Rich Boscia, said in a press release. “It’s a more efficient use of space, for sure, but we also were meticulous in selecting the must-haves that shoppers buy every week, along with the very best of what we have to offer, including prepared foods.”

A neighboring Wegmans Wine, Liquor & Beer opened its doors on March 29. The store is one of several the Rochester, N.Y.-based retailer plans for the Boston area, including a store in Burlington, Mass., set to open later this year.

Area Whole Foods stores recently lowered prices partially to defend against the expected competition from the Wegmans openings, an analyst said.



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