SpartanNash has crowned Teresa Fiocchi of Augusta, Michigan as the grand prize winner of its “Our Family is Souper” recipe contest, awarding her $2,500 in free groceries for her Fiocchi Family Pasta e Fagioli soup.
Fiocchi’s soup was selected by a panel of judges—including SpartanNash EVP, Merchandising and Marketing Larry Pierce; Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Professor Charles Olawsky; Grand Finale Executive Pastry Chef Justin Raha; Executive Chef Glenn Forgie; and WZZM Meteorologist Laura Hartman—at a final tasting event, held at the Metro Family Fare Supermarket in Wyoming.
The Our Family is Souper recipe contest is part of SpartanNash’s introduction of its Our Family brand in the Michigan market. Hundreds of home cooks from across the state sent in their favorite soup recipes in January, with 10 semifinalists advancing to an online voting period.
The top five finalists selected by popular vote advanced to the judged tasting of their soup recipes, with Fiocchi named the grand prize winner.
The Food Bank of South Central Michigan, who was paired with Fiocchi during the Our Family is Souper contest, also will receive $2,500 in Our Family products, reinforcing SpartanNash’s commitment to building local relationships and fighting hunger in the communities it serves through its family of retail stores, distribution and service centers and independent customers.
“This means the world to me,” Fiocchi said. “It was important for me to enter the Our Family is Souper contest because it gave me a chance to compete for a good cause and share my food memories at the same time. My family just moved to Michigan in August, so we’re new to the state just like the Our Family brand. This recipe speaks to me in so many ways, and to win because of it is just an amazing feeling.”
“We are so appreciative to be a part of this,” said Holly Cavinder, communications manager for the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. “The fact that we have partners like Teresa and SpartanNash is so important, because without them, we couldn’t do the work that we do.”
As the grand prize winner, Fiocchi’s Pasta e Fagioli recipe will be featured on spartannash.com, ourfamilyfoods.com and Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Market, Forest Hills Foods, ValuLand and VG’s websites. The recipe and ingredients also will be available through Fast Lane, SpartanNash’s online grocery shopping experience.
“During the winter, we tend to gravitate toward comfort food, and nothing brings the family together quite like a hot bowl of soup,” said Meredith Gremel, VP of corporate affairs and communications. “Our goal with this contest was to create excitement around the Our Family brand while also celebrating the ways that food brings people together and supporting our local food pantries. These recipes were as different as our finalists, but they all used Our Family ingredients to make a delicious bowl of soup.”
Rita Tomaro of Grand Rapids was named the runner up for her “Delicioso” Mediterranean Sup-perb soup and will receive $1,500 in free groceries, with God’s Kitchen receiving $1,500 in Our Family products as her pantry partner. Prizes ranging from $1,000 to $250 were awarded to each of the remaining finalists and their pantry partners, based on the judges’ scoring of each recipe.
Final standings in the Our Family is Souper recipe contest are:
- First place: Teresa Fiocchi of Augusta and Food Bank of South Central Michigan for her Fiocchi Family Pasta e Fagioli.
- Second place: Rita Tomaro of Grand Rapids and God’s Kitchen for her “Delicioso” Mediterranean Sup-perb Soup.
- Third place: Amy Zeilenga of Door and Buist Community Assistance Center for her Bacon Corn Chowder.
- Fourth place: Kaye Zbiciak of Hastings and the Hastings Area Food Pantry for her Powerhouse Chicken Vegetable Soup.
- Fifth place: Frederick Brushaber of Grand Blanc and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for his Kickin’ Cheeseburger Soup.
Each recipe also is available on the Our Family blog to print and make at home.
As many as 1,700 Our Family products are being introduced at SpartanNash’s 87 corporate-owned retail stores and more than 300 independent retail customers throughout Michigan.
SpartanNash is a Fortune 350 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, select national accounts, its corporate-owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges. SpartanNash serves customer locations in 47 states and D.C., Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Italy, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. SpartanNash currently operates 143 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket and Family Fresh Market.