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Pear Bureau Northwest Reveals Display Contest Winners

USA Pears winners

Portland, Ore.-based Pear Bureau Northwest has revealed the 40 winners of its inaugural “Pear Up with USA Pears” display contest. The contest invited all retailers from across the U.S. and Canada to build an eye-catching display that features Green Anjou, Red Anjou and Bosc pears at minimum, with inclusion of other varieties of USA Pears being encouraged. To qualify for the contest, the display was required to be maintained for at least one week during the February-March timeframe.

Entries were judged on a 100-point scale for appearance, creativity and educational impact. Ten bonus points were added to entries that included any of the jumbo size pears that have been readily available this pear season. As recognition for their participation, all who entered were awarded a gift card for Amazon.com valued at $20.

First, second and third place winners plus 10 honorable mentions were named in three store categories (1-5 cash registers, 6-9 cash registers and 10-plus cash registers), and a tie for first place resulted in one extra winner, for a total of 40 cash prizes being awarded.

The winners for the 1-5 cash registers category are:

• 1st place: Shiela Burt, Mike’s Food Center, St. Charles, Minn.

• 2nd place: Kelly Kesler, Kesler’s Market, Blackfoot, Idaho

• 3rd place: Leslie MacAulay, Sackville Co-op Food Market, Sackville, NB, Canada

Honorable mentions: Rex Titch, Tops Markets, Waterford, Pa.; Christopher Vorhies, Leon’s Gourmet Grocer, Lincoln, Neb.; Efren Pinera, Hilltop Red Apple, Seattle, Wash.; Donald Oberg, Donelan’s Supermarkets, Lincoln, Mass.; Craig Alley, Ideal Grocery, Lincoln, Neb.; Susann Kotarba, Harding’s Friendly Markets, Eau Claire, Minn.; Dan Vanauker, Tops Markets, Ontario, N.Y.; Lauren Lyons, Creekside Co-op, Elkins Park, Pa.; Michelle Heneby, Marvin’s Food Stores, Dewey, Okla.; and Patsy Frazier, Homeland, Shawnee, Okla.

The winners for the 6-9 cash registers category are:

• 1st place (tie): Michael Callahan, Ray’s Food Place, McKinleyville, Calif., and Eric Dodge, Hy-Vee, Waterloo, Iowa

• 2nd place: Mike Viers, Food Giant, Jackson, Tenn.

• 3rd place: David Dozier, GFF Foods, Moore, Okla.

Honorable mentions: Judy Gauthier, Buy-Low Foods, Athabasca, AB, Canada; Michael Garrett, Rosauers Supermarkets, Yakima, Wash.; Al Polard, Chuck’s Produce and Street Market, Vancouver, Wash.; Jason Richards, Nature’s Pantry, Independence, Mo.; Brian Metcalfe, Marsh Supermarkets, Carmel, Ind.; Derek Christensen, The Port Townsend Food Co-op, Port Townsend, Wash.; Joe Ruiz, Ray’s Food Place, Cloverdale, Calif.; Mike Midura, Fresh Acres Market, Springfield, Mass.; Davi Andre, Sprouts, San Diego, Calif.; and Dennis Houghton, Sprouts, San Antonio, Texas.

The winners for the 10 or more cash registers category are:

• 1st place: Dan Atkinson, Hy-Vee, Iowa City, Iowa

• 2nd place: John Sherman, Hy-Vee, Council Bluffs, Iowa

• 3rd place: Josh Pederson, Hy-Vee, Winona, Minn.

Honorable mentions: Derek Perisho, Hy-Vee, Olathe, Kan.; Kelsey Bartels, Martin’s IGA Plus, Effingham, Ill.; Brad Franklin, Tops Markets, Towanda, Pa.; Jessica Granier, Rouse’s Market, Thibodaux, La.; Andy Crane, Chuck’s Produce and Street Market, Vancouver, Wash.; Brandon Everett, Rouses Market, Slidell, La.; John Braun, Rouses Market, Covington, La.; Mario DeCaro, Tops Market, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; John Hugger, Rouses Market, Metairie, La.; and Bryan Burch, Hy-Vee, Kansas City, Mo.

Winners in each store category received: 1st place, $1,000; 2nd place, $750; 3rd place, $500; and 10 honorable mentions, $150 each.

“We received hundreds of truly impressive, very competitive entries that showed outstanding creativity in merchandising pears,” said Cristie Mather, director of communications at Pear Bureau Northwest. “Because pears are a high-impulse purchase item, these eye-catching displays drew shoppers in, and participating retailers reported that they boosted their pear sales. We are pleased to have had such enthusiastic participation in this first year of our national display contest, and we are grateful to all the produce departments nationwide who create beautiful pear displays all throughout pear season.”

In the feature photo at top: The first place winner for the 10 or more cash registers category was Dan Atkinson of Hy-Vee in Iowa City, Iowa.

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