ROI Influencers: Food & Beverage 2021 (N to Z)

Dina Opici
Opici Family Distributing Inc.

Opici, the president, and Don Opici, the managing director, represent the fourth generation of leadership of what is now one of the biggest wine distributors on the East Coast.

Chandrakant Patel

Owns restaurant and sweet snack specialists based on Oak Tree Road in Edison. It serves all forms of South Asian cuisine and has become one the largest South Asian catering companies in the country.

Jason Pierson
Pierson Commercial

One of the top restaurant/retail brokers in the state, he’ll tell you the sector is alive and well. So will his business, which continues to be busy, despite the pandemic.

Sam Pipitone
F&S Produce

The Vineland-based company processes more than 100 million pounds of fruits and vegetables for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, and owns a 50-plus truck operation and a 60,000-square-foot cold-storage warehouse.

Ray Rastelli
Rastelli Foods Group

His four companies serve direct-to-consumer (Rastelli Market Fresh), business-to-business (Rastelli Foods), food service (Rastelli Global) and restaurants and retail (Rastelli Seafood). 

Luck Sarabhayavanija
Founder and CEO
Ani Ramen

Founder of a fast-growing chain made news at the start of the pandemic when he relaunched his temporarily closed restaurants as a nonprofit that feeds the hungry and first responders while keeping his employees on the payroll.

Joe Sofia Sr.
VP, N.J. Division
Wegmans Food Markets 

Joe Sofia was reappointed as chairman of the powerful New Jersey Food Council in January — and maintains his role as helping build Wegmans’ presence in the Garden State.

Josh Suggs

The New Brunswick-based restaurant is known for being a celebration of the spirit of the South, including traditional and nontraditional Southern cuisine and cocktails, live music and a can’t-believe-this-is-Jersey atmosphere.

Vincent Timpano
Lassonde Pappas

Heads the second-largest producer of private label ready-to-drink fruit juices and fruit drinks in the country. Based in South Jersey, it is a major producer of cranberry juice, drinks and sauce.

Anton Vincent
Mars Wrigley North America

Heads one of the largest private companies in the world — one with an iconic portfolio that includes market-leading chocolate, gum, mints, ice cream novelties and snacks.

Colleen Wegman
CEO and president

Aims to grow Wegmans’ presence in state, but the pandemic has meant temporarily pulling back on many of its signature marketing features, including demo programs and dine-in prepared food.

Denise Woodard
Founder and CEO
Partake Foods

What started as quest to create allergen and nut-free snacks turned into a million-dollar business — and turned Woodard into an inspiration and mentor for Black and female entrepreneurs looking to break into the food industry.

ROI Influencers: The Top 15

ROI Influencers: A-F

ROI Influencers: G-M