News Briefs


Cooltrax Introduces Temperature-Monitoring Solutions for Grocery Industry

Cooltrax Teaser

Cooltrax, global provider of cold chain management solutions, has introduced its full suite of next-generation temperature monitoring solutions for the grocery industry during this week’s National Grocers Association Show in Las Vegas. The company says its advanced, affordable Fresh InTransit solutions offer real-time location tracking. They also provide refrigerated asset and product-level temperature monitoring for refrigerated trucks and trailers, as well as storage locations and mixed operations.

Roswell, Ga.-based Cooltrax works closely with food retailers and wholesalers, food/consumer packaged goods manufacturers and other industry businesses to quickly and cost-efficiently achieve full compliance with FSMA and customer requirements. According to the company, users also experience increased safety performance, stronger customer loyalty, dramatically reduced product spoilage, lower insurance costs and other benefits.

[Read more: "6 Business Imperatives for Grocers in 2023"]

Fresh InTransit solutions help grocery industry businesses master ever-evolving temperature management issues by monitoring the operation of truck and trailer-based refrigerated units, and measuring internal ambient compartment temperature, product temperature and the amount of time truck/trailer doors are open during the delivery process. The solutions communicate these measurements, in real time, through customer-defined protocols to enable users to quickly identify and address any emerging issue that could impact food safety.

The Fresh InTransit suite also includes the completely wireless, plug-and-play Cooltrax TempTracker remote temperature monitoring solution, which enables cold chain fleets to even more quickly and inexpensively achieve food safety compliance. The system, which can feed data to the Cooltrax Fresh InTransit telematics platform or work as a standalone solution, installs in just minutes.


Isom IGA’s Gwen Christon Named WGA Woman of the Year

WGA Woman of the Year Teaser

During the 2023 NGA Show, running Feb. 26-28 in Las Vegas, Women Grocers of America (WGA) presented its Woman of the Year Award to Gwen Christon, owner and operator of Isom IGA, in Isom, Ky. The award is given annually to a female grocer who shows strong leadership, a passion for the grocery industry and a commitment to her community.

“Gwen’s incredible journey began in 1973, when she began working at Isom IGA,” said Kristin Popp, WGA president and EVP at Jamesville, Wis.-based Woodman’s Markets. “She then purchased the store from previous owners in 1998, ensuring that the only grocery store in a 12-mile radius stayed in capable hands. Last summer, Gwen faced one of her greatest challenges as severe floodwaters destroyed her store and much of the surrounding community. Through her perseverance, determination and the strong community connections she had made throughout her career, the store is on track to open later this year.” 

Added Popp: “Gwen is truly an inspiration to women and young girls everywhere. I congratulate her on receiving this award and look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the years to come.”

Additionally, during the pandemic, Christon, who was IGA Retailer of the Year in 2007, played a key role in feeding local children, teaming with a commercial kitchen to provide thousands of food boxes to neighbors in need. Christon also serves on a committee to recruit and retain teachers, custodians and other open roles.

“Gwen’s journey shows why local independent grocery stores are a linchpin for Americans,” said Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA. “I’m inspired by Gwen’s resilience and can’t wait to see Isom IGA bounce back over the next few years.” 

Isom IGA was also named one of Progressive Grocer’s Outstanding Independents in 2023. 


H Mart Secures Another Location in Texas Capital

H Mart Teaser

Asian specialty grocer H Mart has plans to open a second location in Austin, Texas. According to the Austin Business Journal (ABJ), the retailer has leased an anchor space in a North Central Austin shopping center — not far from an H-E-B and 99 Ranch Market.

New Jersey-based H Mart leased more than 23,000 square feet at 5222 Burnet Road, near the intersection of North Loop Boulevard.

[Read more: “Multicultural Grocers Drive Sales by Catering to Increasingly Diverse America”]

Jason Jang of Total Realty Texas told the ABJ that the new location could open in spring of 2024, depending on permitting and other factors. H Mart currently operates an Austin store located at 11301 Lakeline Boulevard.

Its been a busy start to 2023 for the Asian supermarket chain. H Mart opened a store in Irvine, Calif., on Jan. 11. The grocer also expanded in its home state with a new store at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, N.J., on Feb. 17. And, known for its emphasis on foodservice, H Mart celebrated the reopening of its food hall at the H Mart in Edison, N.J., store on Feb. 14.

Operated by the Hanahreum Corp., H Mart opened its first store in the New York City borough of Queens in 1982, and now has more than 90 stores across the United States in Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.


Cassida Pro Debuts New Cash Room Solution

cassida pro

Cash processing solutions company Cassida Pro has rolled out a new open-air cash recycler that automates cash handling procedures in a timelier, cost-effective way. The new system, the RevolAIR SR-B1, can count a cash and coin drawer in less than 45 seconds.

[Read more: "How Do Grocery Employees Rate their Large Employers?"]

According to Cassida Pro, the split recycler can be integrated into all banking and back-end software suites and through cellular or LAN API feeds and works well with high-volume multi-lane grocery setups. Among other capabilities, the system is designed to enable session-based counting, packaging and inventory recording of all on-site cash registers, tills and drawers, as well as all cash storage, such as safes and change drawers.

The RevolAIR SR-B1 is supported by the company’s cash room engineers who can assist from discovery to implementation.  The system is part of Cassida Pro’s portfolio of business-grade cash processing solutions.


Pop Up Grocer Settles Down in NYC

Pop Up Grocer Coming to Chicago

Pop Up Grocer is putting down roots. The discovery destination known for its curated assortments in temporary locales is opening its first permanent store in New York City on March 3. The flagship store will carry more than 400 products from at least 130 brands and includes the retailer’s first in-store café.

Located at 205 Bleecker Street in Manhattan, the 1,500-square-foot brick-and-mortar site will continue the company’s focus on new and unique brands. According to Pop Up Grocer, featured brands and products will rotate on a regular basis to create an ongoing sense of discovery for shoppers.

[Read more: "The Strategy Behind Pop Up Grocer"]

Also new for this banner is a foodservice program. The onsite café will serve a rotating selection of baked goods and coffees from entrepreneurial, artisan and local brands. Shoppers at the grand opening can try pastries from Librae Bakery, a woman-owned Bahraini bakery in New York City and coffee drinks from Chamberlin Coffee, founded by YouTube influencer Emma Chamberlin and known for its responsibly made and sustainably packaged products.

As it welcomes NYC shoppers to its perennial physical store, Pop Up Grocer continues to support emerging brands that have defined its approach to food retailing. The company contributes a portion of its total product sales to a special fund that seeks to identify and support brand founders.

Pop Up Grocer was founded by Emily Schildt, who serves as CEO. The business has opened nine short-term locations around the U.S. since Schildt launched the concept in 2019.


Schnucks Sets Opening Date for 2nd Eatwell Market Location

Schnucks’ Donation Helps Mobile Grocery Store to Serve St. Louis Food Deserts

Following the success of its first Eatwell Market by Schnucks location, Schnuck Markets plans to open the second of its concept stores in Chesterfield, Mo., on March 29. The store will emphasize natural and organic foods, community events, and made-to-order options including fresh pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

“We look forward to introducing St. Louis-area customers to our Eatwell Market, which will bring them a ‘beyond the expected’ shopping experience,” said Schnucks Chairman and CEO Todd Schnuck. “This store will allow us to build on our mission to Nourish People’s Lives by offering shoppers a store where they can stay focused on health and wellness while also discovering new, local items.”

The Eatwell Market outpost will offer store-cut artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, an olive bar and an AI-powered “smart salad bar.” A made-to-order drink area will specialize in single-serve smoothies, coffee, tea, beer and wine.

The first Eatwell Market banner opened in Columbia, Mo., in 2020, and this second store will serve as Schnucks’ 115th location. The store will employ about 75 associates and will offer curbside pickup and delivery via Instacart.

St. Louis-based Schnucks employs 12,000 associates and is No. 64 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company as one of its Outstanding Independents for 2023