Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010 - (Page 16)

Outstanding Independents Awards Recognizing excellence in the grocery business Independent Inspiration Progressive Grocer proudly honors the independent owners and operators of ShopRite supermarkets, Cosentino’s Food Stores and Merchants Distributors, Inc. (MDI) as the recipients of its sixth annual Outstanding Independents Awards. By Meg Major here’s something extraordinarily inspiring about independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them. Their exceptional entrepreneurial spirit and instinctive skills as merchants. Their unwavering allegiance to customer service and quality products.Their strong connections with their communities. Their passion, resilience and tenacity to differentiate and innovate in the midst of an economic downturn. Their agility in responding quickly to change, based on their entrenched, intimate knowledge of their local markets. Their commitment and dedication to cultivate talent and engender loyalty by emphasizing their local roots. T ment, which begins on page 26, John Cosentino, a second-generation co-owner, says that a guiding philosophy of building relationships, one customer at a time, has been woven tightly into the composition of Cosentino’s DNA. All of these qualities help define today’s most successful independent grocers, which are vividly illustrated by Progressive Grocer’s trio of 2010 Outstanding Independents Awards winners: • Outstanding Regional Retailer:The independent owners and operators of ShopRite supermarkets: Comprising 45 members operating over 200 stores that serve more than 5 million customers weekly through its corporate and distribution arm, Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., the members of the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the nation epitomize the adage that an organization is only as strong as its weakest link. Indeed, while the various ShopRite owners are technically competitors, their ability to function cohesively — with the• Progressive Grocer • January/February 2010 • Outstanding Wholesaler: Merchants Distributors, Inc. (MDI), Hickory, N.C.: Supplying some 600 grocery stores throughout an 11-state territory from its Hickory, N.C., headquarters, privately owned wholesale distributor Merchants Distributors, Inc. (MDI) draws heavily on founding values — OUTSTANDING accountability, communication, excelgreater good at the foreINDEPENDENTS lence, family, frugality, innovation, front — mirrors Wakeintegrity, profitability and respect — fern’s participatory culture that have not only helped it become and extended family mensuccessful, but which will also help tality.The story, by Managing Editor Bridget Gold- perpetuate its future growth and prosperity. As schmidt, starts on page 20. MDI’s president, Matt Saunders, tells PG contributor Bob Gatty in the article beginning on • Outstanding Community-based Retailer: page 32,“This is a company that lives and dies by Cosentino’s Food Stores, Kansas City, Mo.: its [core] values.” Amid a marketplace rife with competitors of all PG’s 2010 Outstanding Independents will be stripes, 25-store Cosentino’s four-pronged strat- saluted during the Grocers Awards Reception at egy of price, service, quality and cleanliness — the National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) conand, of late, aggressive prices — has enabled the vention on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 5:00 p.m. in 62-year-old grocer to emerge as a force to be the Vendome Ballroom at the Paris Las Vegas reckoned with on the local retailing scene. Hotel and Casino. Sponsored by Kellogg and Reflecting on the family company’s legacy Unilever, the reception will also feature the 2010 of personal service and community commit- Creative Choice Awards winners. ■ Awards A H E A D O F W H AT ’ S N E X T

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010
Nielsen’s Shelf Stoppers/Spotlight
Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents Awards: Independent Inspiration
Outstanding Regional Retailer: All Together Now
Outstanding Community-based Retailer: Sharing the Vision
Outstanding Independent Wholesaler:Values for Growth
Independents Report: A Lasting Legacy of Leadership and Inspiration
Fresh Perspectives: Spartan’s Fresh Outlook
Produce: Priced to Move
Refrigerated Meat: A Great (Meaty) Start
Frozen Seafood: Reel it In
Beverage Alcohol: Let it Pour
OTC Medications: Extended Flu Season
FutureTech: Going Mobile
Retail Profile: Food Lion: Renewed
GMA Director’s Note: Leading the Charge
Best Practices: A New Approach to Knowledge
Food Marketing Insights: Got Talent?
Upcoming Events: International Eats
What’s Next

Progressive Grocer - January/February 2010