2018 Annual Membership Meeting

NJFC will kick off the New Year with its Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, New Jersey. This meeting will serve as a kick off to the start of the 2018 schedule of events and the NJFC Scholarship Program.

During the annual Membership Meeting, NJFC will elect its slate of officers and Board of Directors. The 2018 Board Officers are Chair Richard Saker of Saker ShopRites; Vice Chair Mike Murphy of QuickChek Corporation; Treasurer Mike Rothwell of Pennington Quality Market; Secretary Joe Sofia of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.; Associate Vice Chair Mike Biase of Mission Foods; and NJFC President Linda M. Doherty. Also, the Board of Directors for 2018 will be formally elected during the program.

“The Annual Meeting is an important opportunity for NJFC members to learn of the organizations’ priorities, major events for the upcoming year, and various committees in which they can participate. It’s also a great time for members to learn about government affairs initiatives to insure that food retailers and their supplier partners continue to have a strong and dedicated voice in the Garden State under the banner of the Food Council,” stated Linda Doherty, NJFC President.

The event will feature Keynote Speaker Jeanette Hoffman, President of Marathon Public Affairs, who will speak on the The New State of Political Affairs in New Jersey.

Additionally, attendees will hear the NJFC Chair’s report to the membership, network with the state’s leading food industry executives and professionals, and enjoy a cocktail reception featuring hearty hors d’oeuvres.

Industry members and partners are welcome to join this kick-off event.

Click here to register.  Click here to download a registration form.

View the 2017 Loss Prevention Conference & Exhibition photos

left to right: Jesse Levine,
Derrick Price, Ed Rohena

There was no shortage of compelling presentations at the 2017 Loss Prevention Conference & Exhibition, as food industry leaders discussed many pressing loss prevention and safety issues. Celebrated was Wakefern Food Corporation’s Vice President of Loss Prevention, Steve Hoptay, who was honored with the 2017 Loss Prevention Professional Award.

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC), in partnership with the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, hosted the 2017 Loss Prevention Conference and Expo at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township on Thursday, November 2 at 8 a.m. Approximately 100 Loss Prevention professionals attended the annual conference with 23 vendor exhibitors.

Linda Doherty, President & CEO of NJFC, said the event tackled all aspects of loss prevention, ensuring security professionals have all the latest information to preserve and protect company resources. In addition, awards were presented to individuals and law enforcement officials committed to loss prevention. “There is no question that loss continues to have a devastating affect on our business model,” she said.

The event offered a number of compelling presentations, including:

• State Police Major Fred Fife, Commander, Regional Operations & Intelligence Center, discussed “Private Sector Partnerships: The Intelligence Age for a Secure New Jersey.”

• Jesse Levine, Ravitz Family Markets, Director of Loss Prevention & Quality Assurance, and Derrick Price, Wakefern Food Corporation, Retail Loss Prevention Manager, detailed the latest in facial recognition software and other emerging technologies.

• Mitch Cowit, a police training specialist, addressed forensic interview techniques and effective communication.

• Kris Hoffman, an area director for the federal Occupational, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provided an update on retail safety.

Awards were presented to loss prevention leaders and law enforcement agents who implement new strategies to combat loss prevention and retail theft.

Steve Hoptay, Vice President of Loss Prevention at Wakefern Food Corp., accepted the “Loss Prevention Professional Award.” In addition, the “Retail Law Enforcement Achievement Award” was given to Franklin Police Captain Gregory Borlan, State Police Detective Sergeant Jamie Champ, and Gloucester Police Detective Anthony Massi.

The conference also offered three roundtable discussions: “Business Continuity and Emergency Management Planning” moderated by Mr. Hoptay, “Safety: Open Discussion” moderated by Mr. Levine, and “Using Analytics to Improve Loss Prevention Operational Outcomes” moderated by Carl Goldstein, Agilence Senior Account Executive.

There were also insightful programs on “eCommerce Fraud” by Andrew Iaci, a managing director of JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and “Private Sector and Law Enforcement: Operational Perspectives and Best Practices” by State Police Major Ron Hampton of the Intelligence & Criminal Enterprise Section and State Police Lieutenant Dan Bergin of the Interstate Theft North Unit.

To view the photos of the event, click here.

View the 2017 Golf Outing Photos

The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) held its Annual Golf Outing on Monday, September 11, 2017 at the prestigious Suburban Golf Club in Union, New Jersey.  The event was attended by nearly 200 food industry executives representing retail, manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers and convenience stores from across New Jersey.
“The golf outing always offers great networking opportunities for food trade associates and retail executives while enjoying a fun day at the Suburban Country Club,” said NJFC President Linda Doherty.
Attendees enjoyed 18 holes of challenging golf and dined on a delicious barbecue lunch while taking in a spectacular view of the course. The event closed with an evening reception that featured awards, amazing door and raffle prizes generously donated by members and a swag bag filled with the latest and greatest products from the industry.
The winning golfers are as follows:
First Place Team A.M.: Mary Elizabeth Warner, Cheryl Alesso
First Place Team P.M.: Ed Seijido, Mike Telesca, Shawn Conlon, Mike Biase
Closest to the Pin (Men & Women): Brian Brannigan, Cheryl Alesso
Closest to the Line (Men & Women): Lorenzo Castaldo, Mary Elizabeth Warner
Longest Drive (Men & Women): Brent Snyder, Cheryl Alesso

NJFC Co-Hosts a Successful Farm to Fork Event at the Statehouse

On Monday, June 12, 2017, NJFC co-hosted the 5th Annual Farm to Fork Day at the Statehouse. This event provided us with a forum to interact with over 200 members of the Legislature and State House staff. This opportunity gave NJFC visibility in the State’s Capitol in order to continue to advance the agenda of the food industry.

We appreciate the generosity of the following members who donated products including Acme Markets, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Goya Foods, Saker ShopRites, and Wegmans to deliver another successful event.


NJFC Trade Relations Conference Highlights All-Star Cook-Off

Chef Miguel Morales and sous chef Michelle Cantalupo of Foodtown/Food Circus Supermarkets have worked in kitchens for just about as long as they can remember. Their shared wealth of knowledge, combined with the guts to innovate with each dish, gave them the edge to win the New Jersey Food Council’s second-annual Best Chef Cook-Off Challenge.

View Photos from the Event Here

The prestigious challenge preceded the Food Council’s 2017 Trade Relations Conference, a popular industry event for food retailers and suppliers held June 6-7 at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. More than 200 industry leaders watched the culinary heavyweights display their talents, network and learn more about the future of the business.

Competing against the top supermarket chefs in New Jersey, Morales and Cantalupo won the cook-off for the second consecutive year. But they didn’t rely on old tricks to secure the victory.

The chefs wowed judges with a fried Chilean sea bass dressed in a spicy tomato and chile sauce. Further elevating the dish were a Spanish zucchini stuffed with quinoa, a herb named epizote, tomatoes and queso fresco topped with mozzarella cheese.

Finally, for dessert, Morales and Cantalupo prepared a chocolate tamale stuffed with coconut sweet rice, covered in toasted almonds and pineapple, strawberry and chocolate sauces.

“We chose this dish for its uniqueness,” Cantalupo said. “It is a rare thing to find an actual chocolate cake cooked as a tamale, instead of a regular tamale with chocolate sauces.”

Chefs from QuickChek Corp., Village Supermarkets and Inserra ShopRite also put up a noble fight in the cook-off. Given the tough competition, Circus Foodtown, which operates stores in Monmouth and Ocean counties, was ecstatic to have won the prestigious challenge.

“We believe in great quality and outstanding service,” said Cantalupo, who grew up cooking in her family’s restaurant.

That’s also true of the New Jersey Food Council. During the conference, the organization awarded Stan Barrasso the 2017 Max Stone Award, a distinguished honor given to those with an accomplished career in trade relations. Barrasso, a food broker for Acosta Sales & Marketing, has spent decades in the business.

“Stan Barrasso is an outstanding role model in the food trade industry,” New Jersey Food Council President Linda Doherty said. “His style and ability to forge partnerships between the supplier and food retail community is admired and appreciated.”

Chris Lane, executive vice president of Wakefern Food Corporation, delivered the Trade Relations Conference’s keynote speech. At a time when technology is evolving and consumers’ preferences are shifting, he said, supermarkets and grocery stores that continue doing what they always have might end up on the bottom shelf. The industry’s next five years could bring as much change as the past 50 years, he added.