Co-owner praises team, adds that ‘out of necessity comes innovation’
by Eric Pereira / content creator
Ted Balistreri is co-owner of Sendik’s Food Markets, which operates 13 grocery stores and four convenience stores in southeastern Wisconsin. For his locations, the supply chain has been a “mixed story.”
“We see that some of the larger CPG companies are having the most difficult time meeting demand in the independent sector,” he said. “Smaller companies, perhaps because of their nimbleness, seem to be better prepared to meet demand expectations.
“We are doing our best to make sure our customers are not affected by supply issues. We are hopeful that time will ease some of the supply shortages we are seeing.”
The labor market is top of mind for the industry. But Balistreri said Sendik’s can’t allow that issue to become an excuse that diminishes the customer experience.
“Out of necessity comes innovation, and we are seeing great performance from our team members who are committed to taking care of the needs of our customers,” he added.
Business remains robust and on par with 2020, according to Balistreri. The company also is engaged in and pursuing several store remodels and updates.
Sendik’s Food Markets also offers online ordering for pickup and delivery, which is gaining consumers’ attention.
“There continues to be strong demand for e-commerce, and we continue to work on efficiencies to drive profitability in this area,” Balistreri said. “We are big proponents of handling the entire process ourselves versus outsourcing to third parties.
“It is a big commitment, but we are passionate that we control the interface with our customers that want an online experience. We believe that demand will continue for this service in the future, and we want to be the omnichannel market leader.”
Balistreri doesn’t believe any changes made for the COVID-19 pandemic are permanent for his store.
“Change is always happening. That said, we believe that some customers will continue to want an e-commerce option to purchase their groceries,” he said.
Sendik’s has kitchens in its stores and also makes prepared meals. Demand for the latter is “very strong especially compared to one year ago,” Balisteri said.
In closing, he noted the goal remains to continue providing a safe and welcoming place for associates to work and customers to shop. “We are concentrating on staying in stock and maintaining our service at pre-pandemic levels.”