Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News January 2018

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GOURMET NEWS JANUARY 2018 www.gourmetnews.com Retailer News RETAILER NEWS 1 0 BRIEFS Brennan's Cellars Opens in Madison, Wisconsin BY LORRIE BAUMANN When Brennan's Market announced last July that its five Wisconsin locations would close in September, leaving 150 full- and part-time employees out of work, Tim Mulcahy — one of those employees — knew that the specialty market's absence would leave a hole in his Madison neigh- borhood. "I've worked at Brennan's most of my life and wasn't ready to give it up," he said. "After speaking with thousands of customers over the summer, it seemed that Madisonians weren't ready to let it go ei- ther." He's reopening one of those locations, on the far west side of Madison at 8210 Watts Road, as Brennan's Cellars. The new Bren- nan's Cellars will keep its identity as a spe- cialty store rather than trying to be a one-stop shop for all of its neighbor's gro- cery needs. It's expected to employ about 20 people plus a few more part-time sea- sonal employees, many of whom were peo- Kroger's QFC Division Launches Home Delivery Service Powered by Instacart QFC, a division of The Kroger Co., is offering home delivery at a majority of its stores in both Puget Sound and Portland, through a partnership with Instacart, a nationally-recognized on- demand retail delivery service. The partnership supports two key drivers of the company's "Restock Kroger Plan": "Expand Partnerships to Create Customer Value and Redefine the Food and Grocery Customer Experience." Vallarta Supermarkets Opens Its Latest Store In Pasadena, California Vallarta Supermarkets, one of the nation's largest Hispanic supermarket chains, has announced the grand opening of its 50th store, located in Pasadena, California. The new supermarket, located at the Renaissance Plaza Shopping Center on the southwest corner of North Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, was previously occupied by a Vons Supermarket. The totally remodeled 50,000 square-foot facility was built with an investment of $8 million, and will maintain the services of a Wells Fargo bank branch as well as a pharmacy. The new Vallarta Supermarket will provide local residents with a wide-range and variety of food products and services including: "La Cocina," an authentic Mexican kitchen with traditional recipes serving authentic meals ready to eat and enjoy, as well as a hot and cold food island with fresh salads, enchiladas, build your own taco bowls, hot soups and stews, and – new to Vallarta Supermarkets — Latin-infused sushi prepared daily by an in- house sushi chef. Customers will also be offered a full service floral department and an expanded wine selection. Kroger Introduces Ads for Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Initiative The Kroger Co. ran a campaign of television and radio ads in 191 media markets across the U.S. to increase awareness of its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, established last September. The campaign ran through the holiday season supported by store-level customer giving programs benefiting local food banks and hunger-relief organizations and Kroger's year-round, industry-leading, fresh food donations program. Kroger Reports Q3 Results The Kroger Co. has reported financial results for its third quarter ended November 4, 2017. Net earnings were $397 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, and identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, was 1.1 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This includes strong core business results and strong fuel results, as well as an incremental $111 million contribution to the UFCW Consolidated Pension Plan in the third quarter. Kroger's net earnings for the third quarter last year were $391 million, or $0.41 per diluted share. ple who used to work in the old Brennan's, which had been open since 2004, accord- ing to Thea Miller, who now has a variety of responsibilities at the new market. "Product manager, buyer, marketing," she said. "I'm wearing many hats, like everyone does in a small business." The original Brennan's Market had its origins in 1942 as a road-side fruit stand operated by Frank Brennan. Over time, it grew into five loca- tions, with two in Madison and others in Brookfield, Mon- roe and Oconomowoc as well as a warehouse and packaging facility in which the firm pack- aged its own brand of cheese, according to reporting by Melanie Lawder for the Mil- waukee Business Journal. The Watts Road incarnation as Brennan's Cellars is shrinking from 21,000 square feet to just over half of that, giving the cheese de- partment new prominence, since it's staying the same size. "This is Wisconsin, so the cheese department is important," Miller said. The store has about 150 different cheeses in the cheese case at any given time and has made a specialty of buying young cheeses and aging them in house and plans to continue that tradition. "We also do very well with squeaky fresh cheese curds," Miller said. "And besides that, we have all the things you think of when you think of Wisconsin cheese." The produce department, which once oc- cupied almost half the store's floor space, in keeping with its origins as a produce stand, has been trimmed back to a carefully curated selection of best-selling items, ac- cording to Miller. "The other big change was that we had leased the space for the meat market," she added. "Now we will own the meat market and deli." The store's beer assortment and wine de- partment are working with smaller foot- prints, but the Brennan's Cellars store will include 10 tables in a new seating area, so customers will be able to eat their made-to- order sandwiches or prepared meals on the premises. The prepared meals will also be offered to go. "In the past, we paired people with ideas and recipes, but we know that people aren't cooking as much, so we wanted to give them options," Miller said. A new catering operation is also on the way. "We've got a smoker in the back, so we're going to have barbecue meats and all different things back there," Miller said. "It'll be a fun place to hang out – lots of good smells." Brennan's Cellars will continue the holi- day gift program that was popular with Brennan's Market customers, with Wiscon- sin cheese boxes available both in-store and online. Local favorites like Sweet N' Hot Pepper Relish, Fresh Farmer Basil Cheese and Chin Drippin' Idaho Peaches will also continue to be offered in season, and the market will also continue an extensive sampling program that encourages shop- pers to try before they buy. "It's been an in- tense couple of months bringing Brennan's back to life," Mulcahy said as the store was completing the preparations for a Decem- ber grand re-opening. "We can't wait to open and welcome Madison back." GN

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