If Arthur Mackenthun could see what Mackenthun’s Fine Foods has become today, he would likely be astonished by what he found. Kim Mackenthun, Arthur’s grandson and president and CEO of the company, says his grandfather’s original store in Waconia, Minn., was a simple meat market known for its high-quality sausage.

In describing John Napoli & Associates Inc., co-owner and President John Napoli easily sums it up: “We are just 23 cats working for a common cause.” That “cause” is supporting Puerto Rico’s foodservice industry, and the “cats” are his associates and himself, who work together to ensure a high level of service and support is maintained, consistent and always in the best interest of the company’s clients.

The Freson Market story started in 1955 when Frank Lovsin opened a small butcher shop in Hinton, Alberta. The story has yet to end, and Lovsin has put the pieces and people in place to continue the company’s longstanding tradition for years to come.

Lately, it seems the trend in the grocery business has been to limit the interaction customers have with their grocers. They can bag their own groceries, use self-service registers to ring up their orders themselves and place orders on the Internet to be delivered right to their doors.

Although Autry Greer & Sons Inc. is in the process of renovating many of its Greer’s Market grocery stores with a more efficient format and upscale décor, the fifth generation, family owned company still maintains its roots. Old photographs such as the horse-drawn carriages in front of the original Autry Greer & Sons’ grocery warehouse in downtown Mobile, Ala., adorn the store walls of the popular Southeast supermarket chain, paying homage to the family patriarch and company founder.

Employees at Whitey’s Ice Cream – founded in the depths of the Great Depression in 1933 by white-haired Chester “Whitey” Lindgren – work hard to do more than just manufacture and sell ice cream. Their charitable work is well-known and usually involves their weapon of choice – ice cream. “Our culture is to give back to the Quad cities, which has given to us,” declares Jeff Tunberg, who is a vice president and co-owner along with his brother Jon.

It takes more than simply surviving for a retailer to reach its 60th ann­i­v­ersary – it needs to distinguish itself from its competitors by offering more and giving shoppers the best value for their money. That certainly seems to be the formula followed by Hi-Lo Food Stores, which in its 60 years of existence has grown from a single location into the largest grocery store chain in Trinidad and Tobago. The company has 19 locations throughout the country and employs more than 2,000 people.

Some cultures are very particular about their food. For a company to win over the distinguished taste buds of a group where many were raised to be amateur chefs is no easy feat. But when it comes to Creole, Cajun and other Louisiana-based foods, that’s exactly what the team of French Market Foods has done.

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