your-news image

CMI announces appointment of Patella to marketing team

Columbia Marketing International, based in Wenatchee, WA, announced the appointment of Don Patella to its marketing team. Patella, who will telecommute from his home in Arizona, will manage key retail accounts, developing timely promotions and provide tools to assist his customer's in strengthening their produce categories.

With over 20 years of retail experience at Kroger, Patella has expertise in the area of growing profitable produce returns and will help CMI advance customer initiatives.

Patella has held various management and supervisory positions within Kroger and most recently was a regional merchandiser covering four Kroger divisions spanning across 14 states with the primary focus on local suppliers, products and marketing across all departments within the store.

"Understanding the dynamics of optimal selling performance is critical to both our growers and our retail customers" Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said in a press release. "We're excited about Don joining our team because he brings nearly 25 years of retail experience to CMI. We're confident that he will be a terrific resource in the years to come in working closely with our customers to identify strategies and opportunities to drive sales of CMI apples, pears and cherries."

Price Chopper undergoes redesign, changes name to 'Market 32'

The Golub Corp., the parent company of the grocery chain Price Chopper, unveiled a new name and banner for its stores on Nov.11.

Now known as "Market 32" to reflect the chain's founding in 1932, the new stores will begin rolling out across the chain's six-state region this spring, promising change for its customers through modernized stores, as well as new services and products.


"Market 32 represents the next leap forward for our company," said Neil Golub, Price Chopper's executive chairman of the board. "We have evolved from the Public Service Market to Central Market to Price Chopper by responding to customers' changing needs over time and Market 32 is the next natural progression for us."

Initially, three Price Chopper stores will be converted into Market 32 stores, including Shopper's World in Clifton Park, NY, Wilton, NY, and Pittsfield, MA. The first "ground up" Market 32 was set to begin construction in Sutton, MA, on Nov. 12. A second wave of conversions will begin over the next 18 months and encompass another 10-15 stores.


Over half of the 135-store chain will be converted within five years, totaling more than $300 million in the redesign investment.

"Market 32 combines what we are hearing from our customers and what we are learning at Market Bistro with some of the best thinking in the retail industry, and will focus on delivering a distinctively different shopping experience to our customers," Jerel Golub, Price Chopper's president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "Our stores will meet customers' needs today and for decades to come. Most importantly, though, we will continue to offer great value for great food and service."

The new stores will have expanded foodservice options, an enhanced product mix and a re-emphasis on customer service. More details about the many differences in the new concept will be unveiled in the coming months as store conversions begin.


Picabo Street to address Southern Roots luncheon

When Southern Roots, the Southeast Produce Council's new leadership program for women in produce, held its first organizational meeting in late September during the council's fall conference in Young Harris, GA, its leaders brainstormed to come up with a memorable and exciting inaugural event.

That event will take place during Southern Exposure 2015 at the end of February, when skiing champion Picabo Street will be the featured speaker at the Southern Roots luncheon. The luncheon is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando, FL, site of Southern Exposure 2015, scheduled for Feb. 26-28.Southern-Roots

"It is very nice to have someone of her caliber at our first event," SEPC First Vice President Teri Miller, who is chairing the new Southern Roots program, told The Produce News Nov. 10, adding that the luncheon will be open only to women.

PicaboStreetPicabo StreetStreet is expected to talk about her sport as well as how she blended her skiing career in what was in the 1980s a male-dominated sport, said Miller, who is with Delhaize America.

Born April 3, 1971, Picabo Street has won numerous World and Olympic medals, including a gold medal in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Shortly after winning her gold medal, Street careened off course while racing in Switzerland. She crashed, snapping her left femur and tearing a ligament in her right knee. She was in rehabilitation for two years following the accident before retiring in front of her hometown crowd at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Beyond her achievements in sports, Street has worked to make an impact on people of all ages, especially children. Founder of Picabo's Street of Dreams Foundation, her mission is to help children achieve their dreams.

Dividing her time between Park City, UT, and Birmingham, AL, she and her husband, John, have four young boys.

For additional information about Southern Exposure or to register for the event, visit

Kori Tuggle to rejoin Church Bros.

Church Bros., a fresh produce shipper based in Salinas, CA, announced that Kori Tuggle will join the company as vice president of marketing.

Tuggle was most recently the director of marketing and business development for Ocean Mist Farms, where she managed the marketing program for the trade and consumer markets for 10 years. At Church Bros., Tuggle will report to Chief Executive Officer Steve Church and work closely with the sales and new business development team as well as have responsibilities for marketing and other corporate priorities.

Kori-TuggleKori TuggleTuggle started her produce career as a produce buyer at Safeway in 1996 after graduating from California Poly-San Luis Obispo with a degree in agribusiness. From Safeway she joined Church Bros. for four years during which she completed the MBA program at Pepperdine University.  

"We are excited to have Kori rejoin Church Brothers, as she has over 12 years of marketing experience in our industry," Steve Church said in a press release. "Kori has a great work ethic, marketing skills and character that will help Church Brothers and True Leaf Farms with our continued plan for growth."

Tuggle said Church Brothers is a different farming company than it was 10 years ago, vertically integrated with a focus on innovation from field-to-plant processing.

"I'm anxious to return to the Church Brothers team and work for Tom and Steve, who have always believed in me and taught me so much in the earlier years of my career," Tuggle said in the press release. "I'm looking forward to being part of the relentless entrepreneurial vision that drives their businesses forward."

Tuggle will transition into the new job in the latter half of November.

Double-digit increases expected for U.S. imports of Chilean cherries

The Chilean Cherry Committee, an entity associated with the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, expects total exports of fresh cherries from Chile to reach 100,000 tons this year. As the second-largest export market for Chile, North America anticipates a 45 percent increase in volume over the 2013/14 season.

To support this dramatic growth, the Chilean Cherry Committee is pursuing a targeted promotion campaign across the United States and Canada, with increased funding earmarked for retail promotions.

chileancherries "Thanks to an extraordinarily successful harvest, we're going to see increased volume and promotions in North America," Karen Brux, managing director of North America for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said in a press release. "The Chilean Cherry Committee is committed to expanding the North American market for Chilean cherries, and we have promotion funding available for retailers to make that happen. We're in the process of meeting with retailers to confirm holiday promotions."

This year's strong harvest is positive news for the Chilean cherry industry, which was hard hit in 2013 by a devastating freeze.

"The initial estimate for 2013-14 was 85,000 tons, but after the freeze this dropped to 68,000 tons," Brux said in the press release. "With Chile on track to export at least 100,000 tons during the 2014-15 season, this is a significant step for the industry. It's also great news for North American retailers, who want to offer their shoppers a beautiful, premium, great-tasting fruit over the holiday season."

Chile is the largest cherry exporter in the Southern Hemisphere and the second-largest exporter of cherries in the world. Fresh cherries from Chile are available in December and January, with export peaks expected from weeks 49-51.

The Chilean Cherry Committee is offering holiday-themed point-of-sale merchandising materials that encourage shoppers to "bring home the cherry best." Supporting recipes, images and other materials are available for both in-store and online marketing.

The Chilean Cherry Committee was formed under the auspices of ASOEX, which is based in Santiago, Chile. The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association is its North American counterpart and directs all marketing and promotional activities for fresh Chilean fruit in the United States and Canada.