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Inserra Supermarkets expands partnerships with local farmers

Farmer-Appreciation-Dinner

Inserra Supermarkets is expanding its partnerships with New Jersey farmers, bringing locally sourced produce to all of its ShopRite stores.

“On an ever-increasing basis, our customers are seeking locally sourced produce that has been conventionally or organically farmed,” Eric Beelitz, director of produce, said in a press release. “We are proud to offer our customers the best of the best from local growers while supporting the hard-working farming community.”

“We have the utmost respect for the local farming community,” Lindsey Inserra, vice president of marketing and corporate retail health and wellness, said in a press release. “Many of the farms and produce distributors have been in families for generations just like our company. Because of that, they understand the commitment to quality, service and value that is inherent in our ‘from our family to yours’ foundation and mirror it.”

Inserra Supermarkets recently hosted a Farmer Appreciation Event at the Capital Grille in Paramus, NJ. Honored attendees included Jim Sr., Jim Jr., Anna and Pam Abma family of Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff, NJ; Rob Guarino of Guarino Sons Produce in West Deptford, NJ; Mikey Azzara of Zone 7 in Ringoes, NJ; Guy Matro of Winslow Junction Farm in Winslow, NJ; Anthony Scordo of Scordo Farm in Hammonton, NJ; George Cassaday of Cassaday Farms in Monroeville, PA; Santo Maccherone of Circle M Farms in Salem, NJ; and Neil Pastore of Pastore Orchards in Hammonton, NJ, among numerous other leadership members of these farms.

Inserra Supermarkets has a long-standing partnership with Abma’s Farm, which has been in the Abma family for four generations. For years, Inserra Supermarkets has sold Abma’s produce in some of its ShopRite locations, and in 2017 will increase offerings, particularly Abma’s sweet corn, to all of its stores. “We are appreciative of Inserra Supermarkets and pleased to expand our partnership with them going forward,” Jim Abma Jr. said in the press release.

“Last summer, Abma’s Farm would pick the corn at 4 a.m. and deliver it to our stores the same morning,” said Beelitz. “The corn would often be on our customers’ dinner tables in the evening. That is farm to table at its finest. Our customers could taste the freshness and couldn’t get enough of it.”

Inserra Supermarkets primarily sources its organic produce and herbs from Zone 7, a distributor that works with more than 120 sustainable farms 52 weeks a year. Zone 7 was founded on the aim to make produce more affordable and accessible. Inserra Supermarkets also partners with Guarino Sons Produce Inc., a family-owned and operated wholesale produce distributor.

“We are in constant communication with Abma’s Farm as well as all of our local growers and distributors in order to better understand the current harvest season and best serve our customers,” Beelitz said in the release. Under Beelitz’s direction with that of the Inserra leadership team, the company has turned produce into one of its signature departments.

On a regular basis, Inserra’s in-store dietitians host Produce Pick events featuring locally sourced items and offering health tips on incorporating more fruits and vegetables into one’s diet. The company has registered dietitians at 14 of its 22 stores and continues to expand its in-store dietitian program. In addition to serving as free nutrition and wellness resources at the stores on a daily basis, the dietitians host an array of programs, including cooking workshops, nutrition counseling sessions and weight management classes, among many others.

In 1954, Patsy Inserra opened Inserra Supermarkets’ first grocery store in Lyndhurst, NJ. Today the company is under the direction of the Inserra family’s third and fourth generations and Ron Onorato, president and chief operating officer.

In New Jersey, the family-owned chain’s 17 ShopRites are located in Bergen, Hudson and Passaic Counties, and in New York, the company has 5 stores in Rockland County.