Food Fella: Wakefern steps up e-grocery game with hyperlocal fulfillment center

Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the U.S., based in Keasbey, has partnered with Waltham, Massachusetts-based Takeoff Technologies, creator of the world’s first automated micro-fulfillment centers, to launch a fulfillment center in Clifton. Takeoff Technologies’ hyperlocal fulfillment centers are designed to increase speed while lowering costs for retailers and improving the overall customer experience for online grocery shopping. 

“We are excited to partner with Takeoff Technologies to see how their hyperlocal automation technology will benefit our cooperative, retail members and shoppers,” Steve P. Henig, Wakefern’s vice president of digital commerce and analytics, said. “We are really proud of our e-grocery shopping platform, ShopRite from Home, and believe this partnership will enhance our online shopping service.”

Wakefern has been actively pursuing the growth of its e-grocery market through the ShopRite from Home program, which currently offers clients pickup and home delivery services across most ShopRite store locations. The new partnership with Takeoff will expand Wakefern’s capabilities to deliver top-notch e-grocery service and value under a scalable model. 

The new fulfillment center will serve select ShopRite stores operated by Wakefern member Inserra Supermarkets in North Jersey and New York. The change will be seamless for customers as they continue to place orders through ShopRite from Home. 

Takeoff is an e-grocery solution that empowers grocers to grow online by leveraging automation at a hyperlocal scale. The automated technology uses advanced robotics in the fulfilment center, where orders of up to 60 grocery items can be assembled in minutes, increasing efficiency and ensuring customers get their online orders quickly. Takeoff Technologies and Wakefern launched their partnership in July with the opening of the center in Clifton, and an agreement is in place to open additional sites in the future. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with Wakefern to help make their e-grocery service even better,” said Jose Aguerrevere, co-founder and CEO of Takeoff. “Our hyperlocal approach and technology results in lower packaging costs and high last-mile efficiency.”

“Our e-grocery automation is a turnkey, scalable solution that uses robotics to unlock convenience for shoppers without the need to charge extra fees,” added Max Pedro, co-founder and president of Takeoff. “It’s a win-win for grocers and shoppers.”

Congratulations to both Wakefern Food Corp. and member retailer Inserra Supermarkets on this new partnership with Takeoff Technologies. As shopping trends and technology continue to evolve, expect to see more companies in the food industry investing in the future. The 50-member cooperative group has independent owners and operators at 353 supermarkets under the ShopRite, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Dearborn Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Virginia. 

Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs more than 70,000 people, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey. 

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Truck on over to Donaldson Farms on Saturday for Arc benefit

If you’re looking for fun family activities that help a great cause, add the SummerFest Food Truck Festival at Donaldson Farms in Hackettstown to your list. The outdoor festival will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and will feature 15 food trucks, local craft beer, two bands, a DJ and farm fun activities throughout the day. The event will benefit The Arc of Warren County and is presented by John Johnson Automotive Group. The House of the Good Shepherd will sponsor the craft biergarten with Fulton Bank sponsoring the music stage.

A collaboration between Donaldson Farms and Mega-Bite Events is responsible for hosting this premier food truck festival, which will feature delicacies from Empanada Guy, Jersey Curbside Eats, Amanda’s Bananas and more. You’ll also be treated to live music by Mike Lawlor Banned and the Andrea Nies Band. Attendees can enjoy hayride farm tours, pony rides, face painting and outdoor games. Craft beer will be available for purchase from Czig Meister Brewing Co.

The Arc of Warren County will have an information table for people to learn more about the organization and employment opportunities, and its gift shop, Serendipity, will be selling candles, soaps and jewelry.

“The SummerFest Food Truck Festival is a wonderful opportunity to spread awareness about The Arc of Warren County and raise funds through sponsorships for the organization,” said John Whitehead, CEO of The Arc of Warren County. The event is hoping to draw close to 10,000 attendees.

Current “Friendship Sponsors” include Artic Foods USA and Panther Valley Pharmacy. Various sponsorships are still available for this event, including prominent business visibility and advertising before and during the event. For more information about remaining sponsorships, contact Annamaria Lalevee at 

Tickets can be purchased at, so help out a good cause and bring the kiddies, too!

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