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Welcome to the 2009 Foodservice at Retail Expo

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 6

									Photos by Scott Mitchell




The Faces of
        FARE
Welcome to the 2009
Foodservice at Retail Expo


L
      ast August, CSP launched the Foodservice                                    ence and expo. The wide range of channels fosters a
      At Retail Expo (FARE), three days of educa-                                 rich learning environment with a broad perspective
      tion, networking and business-building. FARE                                on retail foodservice.
brought all on-the-go and retail foodservice chan-
nels together for the first time for an event tailored                            So it’s with them in mind that we put together this
just to them. The response generated from the show                                FARE At-Show feature. On the following pages, you
triggered Fare magazine and Faremagazine.com.                                     will meet some of the faces of FARE, retailers who
                                                                                  are attending or presenting at the conference.
It’s been a year since the brand was launched, and
we’re happy to be back in Schaumburg, Ill., for the                               For those of you reading this from the Renaissance in
second-annual FARE.                                                               Schaumburg, welcome to the show. If you see Elaine,
                                                                                  Brian, Joni, or Paula, be sure to say hello. And stay
We at Fare are most boastful of the diversity of those                            tuned for the October issue of Fare for complete
who read the magazine and attend the FARE confer-                                 post-show coverage.


                           T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R F O O D S E R V I C E A T R E T A I L • W W W. F A R E M A G A Z I N E . C O M   29
Elaine Gartner
deli/prepared foods category
manager, Schnuck Markets Inc.


   E
          laine Gartner already has more than 30                      time. They want something that is more home-
          years under her belt at Schnuck Mar-                        made, a little higher quality, but that they are not
          kets Inc. She started with the St. Louis-                   spending a lot of money on.
   based grocery chain in 1977 as a part-time
   deli clerk, working her way through college                        Fare: Did that following take some time to build?
   with the hopes of a job in the legal field. But                    Gartner: Over the years it has built up. I guess it
   she grew to like the grocery business, slowly                      goes with word of mouth, and we get savvier as
   climbing from deli manager to field merchan-                       far as what the customer is looking for and the
   diser, then from buyer to her current position                     quality of food that we’re giving them. We are
   as category manager.                                               cooking less food more often, and the customers
                                                                      are responding well to that. It seems so simple,
   Gartner is leading the educational session on “Deliv-              but it’s a whole educational process. We can have
   ering Customer Satisfaction with Product Quality,”                 all the programs we want, and it works great on
   Monday, Aug. 17 at 2:45 p.m.                                       paper, but unless we follow through at the store
                                                                      level ... we’ve got wonderful fried chicken, but
   Fare: What topics are front-of-mind for you today?                 if it’s going to be out there for five hours, it’s not
   Gartner: First and foremost for our company has                    so wonderful.
   always been food safety. Right alongside that, I
   wouldn’t even say it’s No. 2, is food quality.                     Fare: What is your Meal Creations program?
                                                                      Gartner: It’s a dinner preparation program where
   When we’re in a food committee, or when we’re                      a customer can come in and prepare a number of
   picking up a new item, we ask two things. Num-                     meals. They’re meant to be frozen and put away
   ber one: How is this product made, where was                       for [family members] to take out on a day-to-
   this made, is it within our food quality and safety                day basis and assemble it as needed. They don’t
   guidelines? Number two: Will it be able to fit into                actually have to make it themselves, but it is fun.
   our retail profile?                                                You can make a month’s worth of meals in several
                                                                      hours. Everything is chopped for you and the
   It might be a great product, but if it’s too expen-                recipes are right there, you just have to assemble
   sive and people aren’t going to buy it because they                it. We have it in two stores.
   can’t afford it, then we can’t do it. Along with
   that, we don’t buy the cheapest product because it                 We use products that we have [for sale] in our
   might be inexpensive, but it also might be of poor                 own stores, so if a customer doesn’t come back
   quality.                                                           to do the Meal Creations, or does it on a limited
                                                                      basis, they then go for those items that we show-
   Fare: You do a very strong lunch business. Are these               cased. It’s an integrated thing.
   customers also picking up groceries at the same time?
   Gartner: Some people will if they’re multitaskers                  Fare: What excites you about your job?
   or their time is limited. But basically the Schnucks               Gartner: When you have an idea and work on it
   hot foods, salad bar and soups are a destination                   from the ground-up for months and then go to
   for the lunch crowd. They want to pick up some-                    the store level and have customers respond to it,
   thing at the store rather than eat fast food all the               that’s the best in the world.




               T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R F O O D S E R V I C E A T R E T A I L • W W W. F A R E M A G A Z I N E . C O M      31
Paula Anderson
director of foodservice,
Gigi’s Kitchen, U-Gas Inc.


   P
         aula Anderson didn’t begin her career                        menu done in a QSR way. I’m in charge of all that
         in foodservice. Her previous life in                         stuff—the food safety and product development.
         marketing and sales has come in handy,
   however, as she helps Fenton, Mo.-based                            Fare: What is at the top of your mind for your busi-
   c-store chain U-Gas Inc. build its extensive                       ness today?
   foodservice program.                                               Anderson: Food safety. And shifting the para-
                                                                      digm of the perception people have of conve-
   Following her career change from marketing to                      nience stores—that you can go in and only get a
   food (precipitated by formal culinary training at                  hot dog on the roller grill, that you don’t know
   a local college), Anderson has put her experience                  how clean the back room is, that no one there
   and education to work developing the popular                       knows anything about food. We’re really trying to
   menu at this small c-store chain, as well as at                    change that.
   GiGi’s Kitchen, a café located at one of U-Gas’
   newest stores.                                                     We’re looking into seasonal items, and we’re
                                                                      going to try to do some meal replacement in the
   Fare: How is your operation set up?                                convenience stores this fall, where you can come
   Anderson: First, [U-Gas] owns a line of conve-                     to our cases and purchase maybe meatloaf and
   nience stores. They’re Phillips Petroleum fran-                    mashed potatoes, or ricotta-stuffed pasta shells
   chises. We also have a line of liquor and tobacco                  with marinara. Things like that that you can take
   stores called Dirt Cheap Liquor in St. Louis. Those                home and heat up.
   two together are about 36 stores. And then the
   company owns My Kitchen, a commissary that                         Fare: Who is your clientele?
   provides fresh food to the c-stores.                               Anderson: Young professionals—and in differ-
                                                                      ent areas, of course, the clientele is different. One
   And when I say fresh food, we roast sirloin and                    thing that is common among all of them is that
   turkey, we bake bread. We crack 300 to 400 eggs                    they are very appreciative of high-quality, fresh
   a day and grill them in olive oil. We bake biscuits.               food that they can stop in and get when they are
   I mean, we do everything. We make French onion                     getting gas.
   dip from scratch. We make potato chips. Every-
   thing is done with really, really high quality. That               I have one lady who stopped me the other day—
   line of food goes into 16 or 17 of our stores.                     we make a really nice line of fresh salads—and
   This is really good food that you can run in to                    said, “I just want you guys to know that one day I
   the convenience store and get a really healthy,                    buy one of your spinach salads for lunch, the next
   good meal.                                                         day I get the grilled turkey Caesar, and I alternate
                                                                      every day throughout the week. Then I drink
   We’re at about 2,000 pieces of food that we’re                     a protein supplement. And the price is in my
   making every day out of the commissary. The                        budget. My husband doesn’t really have a problem
   other thing is Gigi’s Fresh Café, [a restaurant]                   with me spending $5 a day for lunch. I’ve lost
   attached to a $4 million U-Gas store that we just                  12 pounds, and I just want to tell you guys that
   opened at Christmas. It has a [wood] fire pizza                    you’re really helping me out and I really appreci-
   oven out front. It’s like a Mediterranean-style                    ate it.” That kind of stuff is really cool.




               T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R F O O D S E R V I C E A T R E T A I L • W W W. F A R E M A G A Z I N E . C O M     33
Brian Krockey
director of foodservice,
Brookfield Zoo

     W
                 ith $13 million in annual food sales                  fresh choices and healthier options, which we have
                 and the second highest per-cap                        certainly incorporated into our menu through recent
                 revenue for all zoos and aquariums                    years: build-your-own burritos, tacos, panini, stir-fry
     in the United States, Brookfield Zoo director of                  stations, sushi and healthy choices such as salads,
     foodservice Brian Krockey stays busy feeding                      organic sandwiches, fruit parfaits, high-protein
     his 2.1 million yearly guests. Krockey was pre-                   plates and vegetable plates. We also have some
     viously in the hotel foodservice world before                     interesting choices in our grilled world, such as fresh
     being recruited by the Brookfield, Ill., zoo four                 turkey burgers, bison burgers, fish tacos and steak
     years ago. Since then, he’s developed a wide                      sandwiches.
     variety of concessions with a heightened sense
     of health, flavor and environmental awareness                     Fare: Have you rolled out any new programs for the
     for the zoo’s passionate members.                                 summer season?
                                                                       Krockey: Our new dinosaur exhibit has been a huge
     Krockey will participate in “Theory of Parallels: A chan-         success. We have 18 animatronic dinosaurs that are
     nel panel discussion of major issues impacting on-the-go          life-sized and set in a wooded area. We built food-
     foodservice,” the opening general session on Monday,              service around that with an outdoor deck, the TRex
     Aug. 17, 4:00 p.m.                                                Grill, with various foodservice stations on it, includ-
                                                                       ing our own signature beer made by Sam Adams.
     Fare: How is the foodervice department organized at               We have various food items that have been created
     the Brookfield Zoo?                                               around the exhibit. Connie’s pizza has created a spe-
     Krockey: There is the concessions business that                   cialty item that is made right there for our guests. A
     caters to our various guests who come through, both               lot of our vendors are involved because we created
     members and paying guests—we have over 100,000                    some opportunities and partnerships for them to
     member families. We also have a very large catering               also build on this exhibit.
     operation. We do over 65 weddings a year. We also do
     a wide variety of corporate picnics, birthday parties             Fare: Has the economy affected your business?
     and other events.                                                 Krockey: One of the nice things about the zoo, and
                                                                       most zoos around the country, is that we’ve actu-
     The variety and choices that are offered, as well                 ally seen an upturn in attendance this year. What
     as fitting within the pillars of our institution of               you find is that in a difficult economy, when people
     conservation and animal awareness, are a big focus                aren’t going on vacation as much, they turn to areas
     of our foodservice department. So a lot of what we                that are considered more value-driven locations, and
     do involves the conservation piece, green initiatives             the zoo is one of those.
     [such as] using environmentally friendly products,
     and obviously giving guests what they are looking                 Fare: What surprises you about your job?
     for—which is a variety of choices, everything from                Krockey: We are a very member-driven location. Our
     your traditional burgers and hot dogs to nontradi-                members join the zoo for many different reasons,
     tional items and healthy choices.                                 but what the majority of them are is supportive of
                                                                       our message of conservation and animal welfare. So
     Fare: What do zoo members demand of you?                          there is great demand for us to utilize earth-friendly
     Krockey: The biggest demands we hear would be for                 products and have strong green initiatives.




34                                     FA R E M AG A Z I N E A U G U S T/ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9
Joni Patterson
deli/bakery director,
Hollywood Market

                                                                          J
                                                                               oni Patterson began working
                                                                               for Detroit-based Hollywood
                                                                               Market when she was just 20
                                                                          years old. Thirty years later, she’s
                                                                          proud to work for the family-owned
                                                                          grocery store, which over its 85
                                                                          years in business has grown from
                                                                          one store to seven. This year, Pat-
                                                                          terson hopes to help the retailer
                                                                          enhance its grab-and-go menu with
                                                                          advanced packaging and additional
                                                                          menu items.

                                                                          Fare: Tell me about the foodservice pro-
                                                                          gram at your stores.
                                                                          Patterson: We’re a grocery store and
                                                                          we also have hot foods, grab-and-go en-
                                                                          trées and an over-the-counter service
                                                                          meat department and fresh produce.

                                                                          Fare: What do you hope to learn at this
                                                                          year’s FARE conference and expo?
                                                                          Patterson: We’re mainly concerned
                                                                          with learning about packaging ideas
                                                                          and also, making the best profit we can
                                                                          on items in a grab-and-go and hot-food
                                                                          situation.

                                                                          Fare: What kinds of issues do you and your
                                                                          company face as we approach 2010?
                                                                          Patterson: We’ve just started getting
                                                                          into grab-and-go within the last year or
                                                                          so and it’s picking up more and more.
                                                                          So, we’re interested in everything that
                                                                          has to do with grab-and-go and the
                                                                          packaging that goes along with it.

                                                                          Fare: Has the current recession been an
                                                                          issue for Hollywood Market?
                                                                          Patterson: It has not been much of an
                                                                          issue. [We’ve seen] maybe some sales
                                                                          decreases in one area, but then we’ll see
                                                                          a pick-up in another. We have an open
                                                                          deli, over-the-counter service, and we
                                                                          might have lost some sales in lunch
                                                                          meat and those items, but we seemed
                                                                          to have picked up in grab-and-go entrée
                                                                          items. People are looking for a fast,
                                                                          quick meal.


36         FA R E M AG A Z I N E A U G U S T/ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9
     Fare: Who is your clientele?                                   family-size salad that we make. We make a larger
     Patterson: Our stores are located in different                 salad, and it might be a chef or a Michigan salad,
     areas, so we have all sorts of different types of              and right now, that’s [the most popular]. In the
     customers. We have an older clientele at some of               winter, we do a lot of mixtures of the entrées. We
     the stores, while some of the other stores have                make chicken piccata, chicken marsala, pork mar-
     young professionals that pop in. So each store has             sala, grilled salmon. We make cod. We do every-
     a different niche in what they do.                             thing! We’re now starting to get into some of the
                                                                    Italian dishes, pastas and stuff, and that seems to
     Fare: What types of food does your foodservice program         be picking up now, too.
     encompass?
     Patterson: We do reheatable entrées like salmon
     and rib dinners. We do tossed salads and we make
     our own chicken pot pies and meatloaf dinners. We                For ongoing coverage during the 2009
     cook from start to finish every vegetable, potato                Foodservice At Retail Expo, visit www.
     and meat.                                                        faremagazine.com. To obtain further
                                                                      information about this and next year’s
     Fare: What are some of the more popular menu items?              FARE, visit www.cspfare.com.
     Patterson: Right now for summer, any kind of




38                                  FA R E M AG A Z I N E A U G U S T/ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 9

								
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