The Local Checkout: WGA looking to help women navigate the independent grocery space 

A new network for women launches; happy 100th birthday, Geissler’s Supermarket; mobile grocery store offers free lunch for kids.
Illustration: WGB staff / Shutterstock

The Local Checkout

Welcome to The Local Checkout, a new Winsight Grocery Business column about independent grocers from Editor Diane Adam. Grocery stores are like people—they come in all different shapes and sizes. And here at The Local Checkout, I’ll be taking a closer look through a wide lens of independent grocery stores. Because just like people—they all matter.   

Network for Women Grocers 

It’s nearly the end of Women’s History Month, and the Women Grocers of America (WGA), operating under the NGA Foundation umbrella, is looking to cultivate connection for female leaders in the independent grocery space while nurturing up-and-coming leaders.  

The WGA announced this week the launch of its Emerging Female Leaders Network, a share group for women leaders in the independent grocery industry looking to expand their professional networks and widen their leadership development. 

"Females face unique challenges and need support to successfully navigate their career journeys." Kristin Popp, WGA president and EVP of Wisconsin-based Woodman’s Markets, told The Local Checkout. 

The new share group will premiere in conjunction with the spring gathering of the WGA’s Executive Female Leaders Network (EXFL) meeting May 1-2 in Chicago. 

“This new share group will boost mentoring opportunities and allow women executives to nurture the next generation of leadership for our industry,” Popp said. 

Mission Continues 

This week marked the final days of operations for the retail side of Chicago’s Local Foods Grocer & Distributor and the onsite Butcher & Larder butcher shop, which blamed “macroeconomic headwinds” for its demise. “Despite valiant efforts by our staff to make the business sustainable, we can no longer justify continued operations,” the company posted on its Facebook page.  

For the past eight years, the retailer championed local foods with a curated selection of groceries and prepared foods. The company will now turn its efforts solely to wholesale operations. 

“The [wholesale] side that connects local vendors and farmers with Chicago restaurants, school systems, and retail stores—is continuing regular business and is growing each year,” the grocer said. 

100 and counting 

100 years in business. Who can say that? Geissler’s Supermarketcan. The seven-store independent, family-owned retailer with locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts is celebrating its centennial. The Somers, Connecticut-based grocery store, founded by A.F. Geissler in 1923, is generating quite the birthday buzz in the community as well.  

Just this past week, the Connecticut General Assembly presented Geissler's with an official citation for its 100th anniversary. State representatives were quick to thank Geissler’s for its continued contributions to the communities in which the supermarket chain serves. 

Geissler’s even posted on Facebook this week its official birthday t-shirt created by Swiss Cleaners & Uniform Services with the shoutout: “Local working with local.” 

Miss Universe sighting in aisle 1 

Miss Universe walks into a grocery store. No this is not the beginning of a joke. Texas native R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss Universe earlier this year, and recently. the Texas model was photographed at Little Red Box, an independent grocer located in an area with few grocery stores in Houston’s East End. You never know who you will see in the grocery store. 

Mobile nutrition 

This week’s shout-out that deserves the hashtag #KindessCostsNothing goes to Indiana’s Junior League of Evansville and Evansville Oasis and their mobile grocery store—the Neighborhood Food Market— that provides free lunches to children as well as eggs, cheese and non-perishable food items at a discounted or reduced rate. 

Thanks for reading The Local Checkout. Got an indie grocery story news item you think I missed? Email dadam@winsightmedia.com 



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