Ah, summertime … when many of us are hiting the road, taking vacations and traveling around the country to see new sites, taking our focus off business and spending time relaxing and refreshing our minds, bodies and spirit. So, I recently took a four-day weekend and traveled from New Jersey to Massachusetts near Cape Cod. When, lo and behold, I stumble upon this out-of-the-ordinary gas and convenience store like nothing I had ever seen before.
It’s called Alltown Fresh, launched by Alltown, and this gem of a fresh convenience market is nestled in the almost 400-year-old town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Alltown Fresh is a first-of-its-kind fresh convenience market in America, offering fresh food choices, as well as gas/diesel, a cafe, bean-to-cup coffee, outdoor seating, groceries, craft beer, Wi-Fi, pet relief areas, traditional snack options, and phone and electric vehicle charging stations, while unveiling a completely new convenience store concept featuring a sleek, modern store design and organic food menu items.
Alltown Fresh, which opened this past January, offers the local community healthy, fresh food choices and made-to-order meals — including organic, natural, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and locally sourced alternatives — all in a rush-free environment where neighbors can hang out with one another and enjoy a delicious coffee, snack or meal. The 4,800-square-foot store incorporates classic hardwood signage, exterior and interior seating, an open grill for fresh made-to-order food items, kiosk ordering, a variety of organic self-serve beverages on tap, smoothies and artisan bakery items. In addition, Alltown Fresh features a wide selection of grab-and-go favorites and healthier packaged alternatives.
“We believe our guests shouldn’t have to sacrifice healthy food for convenience, and it’s our mission to establish Alltown Fresh as a go-to destination for fresh food choices, including organic, natural, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and locally sourced alternatives, and a comfortable environment where our guests can enjoy grabbing food on-the-go or sit down and enjoy the moment,” said Eric Slifka, CEO of Global Partners LP. “It’s our hope to inspire the community to take advantage of locally sourced products and provide a menu that incorporates natural ingredients, freshly made food and amenities that go beyond what Alltown has ever offered before.”
The Alltown Fresh menu includes made-to-order fresh food options suited for every palate and dietary preference, featuring locally sourced ingredients and products from brands in the Plymouth area.
Here is a sample of the unique and delicious menu, featuring all organic produce and fresh, on-site roasted vegetables:
- Curated breakfast options such as Clean Green Avocado Toast, complete with cage free eggs or tofu, spinach, fresh avocado, chia seeds and Himalayan sea salt on guests’ choice of bread, which is locally sourced from Hearth’s Artisan Bakery in Plymouth.
- Specialty protein bowls, featuring locally sourced dressing from Cindy’s Kitchen in Brockton, such as Korean Kim Chi, made with baby peas, shredded purple cabbage, shredded carrots, sautéed mushrooms, quinoa and Korean Kim Chi sauce; and Mango Tango, complete with roasted summer squash, roasted zucchini, roasted peppers, roasted red onions, shredded carrots, three grain brown rice blend and a mango coconut pepper sauce.
- Wholesome sandwiches on guests’ choice of bread, such as the Fresh Pilgrim, featuring roasted turkey breast, quinoa, homemade cranberry orange relish and mayo. Also, Veggie Palooza, made with fresh avocado, shredded purple cabbage, shredded carrots, green leaf lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onions, garlic hummus and pesto.
- A selection of specialty beverages, including smoothies, which are blended fresh on-site using all organic produce and come in a variety of flavors, such as Green Glow and Green Monster, kombucha on tap from Vermont-based Aqua ViTea, organic, non-GMO soda alternatives sourced from Tractor Beverage Co., as well as certified fair-trade options made with organic cane sugar from Maine Root Beverages and fresh, organic juice options.
The brand is also elevating coffee offerings by bringing the boutique coffee shop experience to guests in a convenient and affordable on-the-go setting. Alltown Fresh is enlisting “bean-to-cup” Swiss Made coffee machines specially designed to look like something lifting off to space, but, in reality, to press beans under five bars of pressure instantly for maximum flavor. Brewed hot or iced on-demand in small batches for the freshest cup possible, these beans are locally roasted in Connecticut and offer blends from around the world, including fair trade and organic choices such as Monadnock Blend, Stratton Blend, Guatemala San Marcos and more. Made-to-order classics such as macchiatos and lattes are also available.
I’ve been told that the company is planning to open stores in Connecticut later this year and I could only hope that New Jersey would be next on the list for expansion. I believe this is an incredibly exciting concept in convenience stores that we would all appreciate here in the Garden State!
For more information about this specific store and concept, go to: alltownfresh.com.
New insurance options for food and restaurant industry
According to the National Restaurant Association, there are more than 1 million restaurant locations in the United States, employing more than 15 million people — or about one in 10 working Americans. The restaurant industry is projected to see $863 billion in sales this year, representing an increase of more than 46% since 2010, and equaling 4% of the U.S. gross domestic product.
Here in the Garden State, our local restaurant and food service industry mirrors proportionately the national numbers and, as any restaurateur can tell you, running a restaurant business here can be a lucrative but challenging endeavor.
Now, Whitehouse Station-based Chubb Insurance has announced it is offering small business insurance to cover the unique risks faced by the food service industry. Coverage is available through Chubb’s expanding and digital platform, the Chubb Marketplace, which features a broad and customizable suite of products for businesses with up to $30 million in revenue.
“The food service industry faces a diverse array of exposures — from customer and employee injuries to property damage and loss of business income,” said Jim Williamson, division president, Small Commercial Insurance, Chubb North America. “Through our convenient and easy-to-use online marketplace platform, Chubb provides access to robust insurance solutions for restaurants, banquet halls, caterers, commissaries, food trucks and more — all supported by our industry-leading capabilities in underwriting, claims and risk engineering. We are excited to expand our available solutions for independent agents who serve small businesses in the food service industry.”
In addition to Chubb’s Business Owner’s Policy, or Chubb BOP, the introduction of coverage for small businesses within the food service industry is available on the Chubb Marketplace for the following lines of business:
- Workers’ compensation;
- Commercial auto;
- Cyber enterprise risk management (ERM);
- Management and professional liability; and
- Foreign package.
With so many new restaurant ideas and concepts looking to keep up with the latest food trends and cuisines for a new generation of diners, this offering is a welcome and convenient service for owners and entrepreneurs wanting to spend more time focused on the front of store. These available coverage options provide broad protection against the specific types of risks that restaurants and other small food businesses face in a growing market.
Additional information on Chubb Small Commercial Insurance’s suite of products can be found at: chubb.com/us-en/business-insurance/.
Remembering PLMA’s Robert Vosburgh
The food industry has lost an asset and an all-around good guy from the reporting side.
Sad to report the news of the passing of Robert Vosburgh Jr., a resident of Milford, Connecticut. Bob was a seasoned, well-respected supermarket trade journalist for the Private Label Manufacturers Association, and a former colleague and friend of the Food Fella.
He died on July 15, just 54 years old.
Vosburgh joined PLMA in 2013 and served as news director of PLMALive!, where he oversaw various aspects of the organization’s video and digital platforms. A major focus of his was PLMA Category Profile reports, an ongoing series of informative and well-received videos that examined individual private label categories.
Prior to joining PLMA, Vosburgh was longtime group editor at Penton Media’s trade publication Supermarket News, now a publication of Informa, where he oversaw coverage of fresh foods and natural/organic. During that time, he helped initiate SN’s award-winning quarterly supplement, SN Whole Health.
He was awarded numerous prestigious business journalism awards, including a 2001 Newsmaker of the Year for Fairchild Publications. He previously worked as an editor at Griffin Publishing’s Modern Food Service publication, which is where I had the opportunity to work with him in the late 1990s.
Early in his career, Vosburgh was an on-air reporter and the New Jersey state correspondent for WCBS Newsradio 880 in New York, and, prior to that, an editor and anchor for WPDH and WEOK radio in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was a 1987 journalism graduate of New York University.
What I remember most about Bob when we worked together was a kind, warm and compassionate person, dedicated to his profession, who had a great sense of humor and wit and yet such a high level of professionalism in any situation. He had a way of keeping us feeling loose and entertained as we went through our sometimes-monotonous daily routines; I know he will be greatly missed by the food industry.
My deepest, heartfelt condolences to his family. He is survived by his spouse, Kai, and his siblings and their partners, Jonathan, Charles and Ann Marie, Lisa and Alex, Donna and Omar, and his four-legged baby, Daisy. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert and Judith Vosburgh. Rest in peace, my friend.