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INDEPENDENCE, Ky. - More than 400 produce retail professionals were on hand at an annual seminar and food show recently hosted by The Crosset Co. based here.
The daylong event brought together retailers from throughout the Midwest, and more than 50 produce vendors including Cal-Organic, Grimmway, Sunkist, Dole, and Nonpareil. As Crosset is one of the largest floral distributors in the Midwest region, a significant amount of the show featured floral vendors.
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With the day's programs orchestrated by Crosset's training director, T.C. Williams, attendees enjoyed presentations and workshops focusing on leading trends that emphasize organics and convenience, as well as health, and savory dining.
Pete Luckett, owner of Pete's Frootique and a popular author and speaker, delivered the keynote speech on lifestyle trends that emphasized the importance of merchandising techniques that differentiate a store.
The event also included a cooking demonstration presented by Meg Galvin, a world master chef and program coordinator for the University of Cincinnati's Culinary Arts and Science program, and Jean-Robert de Cavel, Chef de Cuisine and owner of Jean-Robert at Pigall's in Cincinnati. Nutritionists from the Produce for Better Health Foundation also made presentations, emphasizing the role the produce department plays in helping America develop healthier eating habits. Capping those presentations with a celebrity touch was Tom Browning of the Cincinnati Reds.
Attendees appreciated the opportunity the day offered to engage in productive conversation with their counterparts. Said Todd Linsky of Grimmway Farms, "This was a great show. At a local event like this, you get a great opportunity to interact with people who are in the trenches day-to-day."