The Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) presented its 2015 MGA Best in Class Awards on April 23 at the MGA Industry Connects Luncheon in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Dan Klassen, Kowalski’s Market, Woodbury is the Best in Class-Retailer recipient.
Jeanne Dyer-Flaherty, Dean Foods, Woodbury, received the Best in Class-Vendor honor.
This is the first year the Best in Class Awards have been presented. MGA said the awards acknowledge the “best of the best” in Minnesota’s food industry. Based on their performance in 2014, these winners have gone above and beyond in their leadership and brought results and positive growth to their companies through their direction at the store level, MGA said.
Nominations for the awards were submitted by the MGA membership and judged on positive sales growth through the development and execution of new programs, the ability to foster company engagement and provide opportunity for employee personal and professional development and demonstrated community support and involvement.
MGA President Jamie Pfuhl and MGA Board Chair Patrick Miner of Miner’s Inc. presented the awards on behalf of the Minnesota Grocers Association.
“The MGA is so proud to recognize the dedication and achievements of those whose day-to-day efforts are laying the foundation for a vibrant and thriving industry,” Pfuhl said. “These winners demonstrate the hard work and commitment to excellence that makes our industry truly great.”
The MGA has been representing the food industry since 1897 and today has more than 200 retail members who are affiliated with 1,100 stores statewide, as well as approximately 100 distributors and manufacturers in the membership. Its member-companies employ more than 125,000 union and non-union Minnesotans.
Minnesota Grown honors four retailers
Winners of the fourth annual Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year also were announced during the Minnesota Grocers Association’s annual industry luncheon in Bloomington.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson and MGA’s Pfuhl presented the awards.
Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year winners were recognized in four categories:
- Single store: Mackenthun’s Fine Foods
- Retail group of nine or fewer stores: Festival Foods
- Retail group of 10 or more stores: Lunds & Byerlys
- People’s Choice Display Award: Kowalski’s Markets, Eagan
Frederickson commended the grocers for their outstanding displays featuring locally grown produce.
“Minnesotans prefer to buy products grown by their farms,” Frederickson said. “Grocers who use the Minnesota Grown logo in their displays make it easy for customers to identify and purchase locally grown foods. It’s good for our farmers and good for our state’s economy.”
Winning entries were selected based on the number of Minnesota Grown products and the number of Minnesota farmers whose products the grocer carried. Judges also considered how the grocer promoted the products to their customers through ads, displays and the use of promotional venues like social media.
In addition to a commemorative plaque, winners received exclusive rights to use the “Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year” logo in their ads and displays for the next year.