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Chicago-area grocery chain Jewel-Osco will celebrate Black History Month this February with the company’s 14th annual “A Taste of Black History” program, which honors the contributions and achievements of the retailer’s African-American vendor partners.
The initiative will kick off with a VIP shopping event for customers Jan. 24, with customer tasting events scheduled throughout February at select Jewel-Osco stores.
The kickoff event will feature live music by Chicago band Zzaje’ and an appearance by celebrity chef Josh Marks, the runner-up on the third season of the Fox reality cooking show “MasterChef.” Marks, now the national spokesman for Jewel-Osco African-American vendor Real Men Cook, will prepare dishes for customers to sample and will be available for pictures and autographs. During the VIP shopping event, consumers can also take advantage of savings opportunities and enter a sweepstakes to win up to $1,000 in store gift cards.
In addition, the retailer will donate $10,000 to three community organizations, including Chicago’s St. Felicitas Church Food Pantry and Grant A Wish Food Pantry, which were chosen for their commitment to hunger relief, a key corporate social responsibility priority for the retailer. Customers will help select the third donation recipient by casting votes for their favorite African-American vendor products during the kickoff event. Jewel-Osco will provide the third contribution to the charity selected by the brand that receives the most customer votes.
“‘A Taste of Black History’ gives us an opportunity to thank our African-American vendors for everything they do for our company and our customers,” said Jewel-Osco President Brian Huff. “This outstanding group of business men and women plays an important role in our success, and we hope consumers realize that when they purchase African-American vendor products they are supporting these wonderful entrepreneurs.”
Following the kickoff, the retailer will host sampling events at select stores, to help raise awareness of its African-American vendor products.