Get To Know 2023 IGA Retailers of the Year: Part II

Jan 31, 2023

Welcome to the second installment of our 2023 Retailers of The Year profiles.

The Retailer of the Year awards are the highest honors the Independent Grocers Association (IGA) bestows upon its retailer members. They are presented annually to grocers who have best provided leadership and excellence in their communities.

In this installment, learn how The Richmond Shops, Sky Plaza IGA, and Cox Foods IGA Supermarket thrive as independent grocers serving their communities.

John Hallinan | The Richmond Shops | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Richmond ShopsThe Richmond Shops Owner John Hallinan (third from right) and team accept the award during a store visit.

The last few years of the pandemic and civil unrest have severely stressed our communities, but The Richmond Shops IGA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has become a safe haven for customers to exhale and be welcomed and greeted by friends and employees. 

Store Owner John Hallinan and General Manager Don Petzak are working hard to reestablish a career in the supermarket industry as a life sustaining reality by identifying, motivating, and creating the next generation of leaders as their seasoned professionals move into retirement.

As part of their efforts to attract a new generation of leaders, they have also modernized the store, embracing technology and trends to stay relevant against corporate competitors. Those programs and services include home delivery via Instacart, upgraded POS system, 16 self checkout stations, and a robust marketing program complete with loyalty rewards, digital coupons, social media, email, and TV and digital commercials.

With all of these investments in the future, Hallinan and Petzak are sure to attract job seekers and shoppers alike, especially with their unique offerings like the Bottle Shop with over 1,000 beers and wines, fresh sushi and boba tea, and local eggs and milk, honey, pickles, pierogies, and more.

Rich and Darlene Hoffman | Sky Plaza IGA | Garrettsville, Ohio

Sky Plaza IGASky Plaza IGA Owners Rich and Darlene Hoffman (fourth from right) and team accept the award during a store visit.

Success is rarely achieved by one person, and Sky Plaza IGA Owner Rich Hoffman not only knows it—but he lives and leads by that knowledge. Hoffman credits the Garrettsville, Ohio store team and surrounding communities for their success and prioritizes employee development.

Through training mentorship — pairing new employees with senior team members — and dedication to customer service, Hoffman’s team serves the communities they live and work in. In fact, Rich and wife Darlene Hoffman are the only original grocery store owners in the community! 

With his career dedicated to the independent grocery industry, Hoffman believes in his employees’ ability to deliver the best customer experience to their patrons. He and his team support numerous community organizations throughout the year, including their local food pantry and people trees.

Tate Cox | Cox Foods IGA Supermarket | Jackson, Kentucky

Jackson IGACox Foods IGA Owner Tate Cox (middle) accepts the award from IGA CEO John Ross.

There’s something nostalgic about shopping at the grocery store with your own children that you shopped at with your parents when you were young. The nostalgia of your past meets the new developments of business today, and Tate Cox of Cox Foods IGA Supermarkets is excelling at marrying the past and present throughout his six stores. 

After taking over from his father Jim in February 2020, Tate and his team have balanced innovation with that charming, family-owned business feeling. They have used digital advertising and marketing, updated signage, and leveraged programs to benefit the business, all while building close relationships with employees and shoppers. They prioritize local, from selling local produce and goods to supporting local churches and organizations.

Tate and General Manager Jeff Lutes, who has over 40 years of experience in grocery, provide their store managers with the tools and training they need to succeed, and the trust they need to develop and thrive. With just three years of ownership under his belt, Tate Cox has already proven the IGA hometown proud spirit is alive and well in the new generation of store owners.

Look for the final three 2023 IGA Retailer of the Year profiles in The IGA Minute in two weeks.

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