MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Bozzuto's named Tri Town Foods, Flanders, Conn., its first Retailer of the Year at the wholesaler's Retail Achievement Awards dinner at the Foxwoods Resort here last week.
"We have a clearly defined strategy, and we know what we can be and what we cannot be," said Kevin Brouillard, vice president, Tri Town, and one of the three partners who accepted the award. The other partners are Jack Fitzpatrick and Rick Sharr. Fitzpatrick also won the Store Manager of the Year Award.
In an interview with SN after the presentation, Brouillard attributed the company's success to "a combination of perishables execution, service and attention to detail. If you stop in and see us on a Monday, a Thursday, a Saturday, or a Sunday, it doesn't matter. Our conditions will always be consistent."
He also said the company, which operates one store in Flanders and another in Portland, Maine, is very involved in community activities.
Brouillard said the company has been able to maintain 15% to 18% growth in sales and customer counts despite competition from such larger operators as Stop & Shop, Big Y and BJ's Wholesale.
The company generates almost 50% of its sales from perishables, which include such departments as a sushi station and a scratch bakery. The stores also specialize in quality meats, and offer only Angus and Choice grades of beef.
Brouillard also attributed the company's success to its employees. "We have a great bunch of people who like what they're doing, and people respond to that," he said.
Michael Bozzuto, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Cheshire, Conn.-based wholesaler, said the success of Tri Town and other Bozzuto's customers proves that "independents are alive and well."
Kristin Manning, director of retail marketing, Bozzuto's, told SN the awards were created to recognize retailer achievement and help instill a spirit a competition among Bozzuto's customers.
"We're talking a lot about what we can do to help our customers compete," she said. "We can't always win on price, but we can do it with good people."
Other winners included Ted's Supermarket, Hebron, Conn., which won the Adam J. Bozzuto Community Involvement Award, and Tiberio's Red Hook IGA, Red Hook, N.Y., which won the Overcoming Adversity Award. Other awards were presented to store-level department managers.