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BAB Retail Campaign Kicks Off, 2013 Display Contest Winners Recognized

Larry Woodward, Barber's Dairy, Bob Durand and Danny Babb with Associated Wholesale Grocers

The 2014 Buy Alabama’s Best Retail Campaign launch was held Thursday. The Buy Alabama’s Best Campaign is made up of the Alabama Grocers Association, the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries and the Alabama Food Manufacturers and Producers Association.

Presentations were made by Commissioner John McMillan, Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries; Ellie Taylor, president of Alabama Grocers Association; Guy Lott, Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission; Dr. Raymond G. Watts, Hugh J. Morgan Endowed Chair for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, professor of Pediatrics, division director, Children’s of Alabama; John D. Fox Jr., VP of C&M Food Distributing, current chairman of the Alabama Grocers Association; and Larry Woodward, account executive at Barber’s Dairy and current president of the Alabama Food Manufacturers and Producers Association. Alabama Food Manufacturers and Producers Association members, as well as retailers and wholesalers throughout Alabama, also were in attendance.

McMillan and Taylor presented display contest award certificates for 2013. These displays featured participating Alabama food products to help consumers identify which products are headquartered, produced or manufactured in the state of Alabama. Awards were given to the following retailers:

• Fourth Avenue Supermarkets, Bessemer—March, 3rd Place Wet and Dry

• Food Giant No. 408, Moody—September, 3rd Place Wet and Dry

• Gardendale Foodland, Gardendale—March, 1st Place Wet and Dry; September, 2nd Place Wet and Dry

• Gateway Foodland, Double Springs—March, 2nd Place Wet; September, 1st Place Wet and Dry

• Publix Super Markets No. 842, Vestavia Hills—March, 2nd Place Dry

During the months of March and September, a portion of the sales of participating Alabama food product companies along with retail sales of icons raised monies for the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Children’s of Alabama. An $88,295 check was presented to Dr. Watts, director of the UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, for 2013. Since 2006, the Buy Alabama’s Best Campaign has raised $523,445 to fight pediatric cancer.

“Children’s of Alabama is working to cure every child who has cancer,” said Watts. “This generous donation from local Alabama businesses will help us meet our mission.”

Following the presentation, a buffet featuring all Alabama food products was enjoyed by those in attendance.

“Being a part of the Buy Alabama’s Best Campaign gives opportunities for small businesses to give back in a big way,” said Jackie Thornton, owner of Dirt Road Gourmet. “This was our company’s first year to participate in this endeavor and it has been a very meaningful experience.”

Dirt Road Gourmet, headquartered in Eclectic, sells frozen casserole dishes made through a small-batch process that allows consumers to cook the casseroles at a food safety temperature, giving them a homemade quality. Its items can be found in grocery stores across Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

The purpose of the Buy Alabama’s Best Campaign is to identify and increase awareness of Alabama food products and increase sales of those products. Alabama food product sales have a $2 billion impact on Alabama’s economy, tax base and, along with the foodservice industries, employ one out of every four Alabamians.

Buy Alabama’s Best will hold a press briefing Feb. 26 in Montgomery to kick off its 2014 overall campaign. Gov. Robert Bentley plans to attend.

In the feature photo at top: Larry Woodward, Barber’s Dairy; Bob Durand and Danny Babb, Associated Wholesale Grocers. (Find more photos from Thursday’s luncheon here).


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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
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