Jewel-Osco will celebrate Black History Month this February with the company’s 14th annual “A Taste of Black History” program, which honors the contributions and achievements of the retailer’s African-American vendor partners.
The initiative will kick off with a VIP shopping event for customers from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Jewel-Osco at 1655 E. 95th St. in Chicago.
“A Taste of Black History” customer tasting events will continue throughout February at select stores.
The kickoff event will feature live music by Chicago band Zzaje’ and an appearance by celebrity chef Josh Marks, who was the runner-up on the third season of the FOX reality cooking show “MasterChef.” Marks, now the national spokesman for Jewel-Osco African-American vendor Real Men Cook, will prepare dishes for customers to sample and will be available for pictures and autographs. During the VIP shopping event, consumers also can take advantage of savings opportunities and enter a sweepstakes to win up to $1,000 in Jewel-Osco gift cards.
In addition, the retailer will donate a total of $10,000 to three community organizations, including Chicago’s St. Felicitas Church Food Pantry and Grant A Wish Food Pantry, which were chosen for their commitment to hunger relief—a key corporate social responsibility priority for Jewel-Osco. Customers will help select the third donation recipient by casting votes for their favorite African-American vendor products during the kickoff event. Jewel-Osco will provide the third contribution to the charity selected by the brand that receives the most customer votes.
“‘A Taste of Black History’ gives us an opportunity to thank our African-American vendors for everything they do for our company and our customers,” says Jewel-Osco President Brian Huff. “This outstanding group of business men and women plays an important role in our success, and we hope consumers realize that when they purchase African-American vendor products they are supporting these wonderful entrepreneurs.”
Following the kickoff, Jewel-Osco will host sampling events at select stores to help raise awareness of its African-American vendor products. These events, which also will include savings opportunities, are open to the public and will take place at the following locations:
• Saturday, Feb. 2, noon-5 p.m., 87 W. 87th St. (Chicago)
• Sunday, Feb. 3, noon-5 p.m., 7530 S. Stony Island Ave. (Chicago)
• Monday, Feb. 4, noon-4 p.m., 3153 W. 183rd St. (Homewood, Ill.)
• Saturday, Feb. 9, noon-5 p.m., 2485 W. Howard St. (Evanston, Ill.)
• Sunday, Feb. 10, noon-5 p.m., 9400 S. Ashland Ave. (Chicago)
• Monday, Feb. 11, noon-4 p.m., 17705 S. Halsted St. (Homewood, Ill.)
• Saturday, Feb. 16, noon-5 p.m., 1655 E. 95th St. (Chicago)
• Sunday, Feb. 17, noon-5 p.m., 9400 S. Ashland Ave. (Chicago)
• Monday, Feb. 18, noon-4 p.m., 87 W. 87th St. (Chicago)
• Saturday, Feb. 23, noon-5 p.m., 7525 W. Lake St. (River Forest, Ill.)
• Sunday, Feb. 24, noon-5 p.m., 443 E. 34th St. (Chicago)
• Monday, Feb. 25, noon-5 p.m., 11730 S. Marshfield Ave. (Chicago)
Originally established in 1899, Jewel-Osco operates more than 170 stores in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.