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    Retailers 'Pear Up' for Contest

    Pear Bureau NW recognizes 40 retail produce personnel in display competition

    The first-place prize-winning display of Ray's Food Place's Michael Callahan

    The Pear Bureau Northwest has recognized 40 winners in its inaugural "Pear Up with USA Pears" display contest.

    The contest invited all retailers from across the United States and Canada to build a striking display featuring Green Anjou, Red Anjou and Bosc pears at minimum, with the inclusion of other varieties of USA Pears encouraged. To qualify for the contest, the display was required to be maintained for at least one week during the February-March timeframe.

    "We received hundreds of truly impressive, very competitive entries that showed outstanding creativity in merchandising pears," noted Cristie Mather, director of communications at the Milwaukie, Ore.-based bureau. "Because pears are a high-impulse purchase item, these eye-catching displays drew shoppers in, and participating retailers reported that they boosted their pear sales."

    Entries were judged on a 100-point scale for appearance, creativity and educational impact. Ten bonus points were added to entries that included any of the jumbo-size pears that have been readily available this pear season. As recognition for their participation, all who entered were awarded a gift card for Amazon.com valued at $20. The top-place winners received up to $1,000.

    First-, second- and third-place winners, plus 10 honorable mentions, were named in three store categories (one to five cash registers, six to nine cash registers, and 10-plus cash registers), and a tie for first place resulted in one extra winner, for a total of 40 cash prizes awarded.

    The first-place winners in each store category received $1,000, while second-place winners got $750. The honorable mentions received $150 each.

    The winners for the one to five cash registers category are:

    1st Place: Shiela Burt, Mike's Food Center, St. Charles, Minn.

    2nd Place: Kelly Kesler, Kesler's Market, Blackfoot, Idaho

    3rd Place: Leslie MacAulay, Sackville Co-op Food Market, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

    Honorable Mentions: Rex Titch, Tops Markets, Waterford, Pa.; Christopher Vorhies, Leon's Gourmet Grocer, Lincoln, Neb.; Efren Pinera, Hilltop Red Apple, Seattle.; Donald Oberg, Donelan's Supermarkets, Lincoln, Mass.; Craig Alley, Ideal Grocery, Lincoln, Neb.; Susann Kotarba, Harding's Friendly Markets, Eau Claire, Mich.; Dan Vanauker, Tops Markets, Ontario, N.Y.; Lauren Lyons, Creekside Co-op, Elkins Park, Pa.; Michelle Heneby, Marvin's Food Stores, Dewey, Okla.; and Patsy Frazier, Homeland, Shawnee, Okla.

    The winners for the six to nine cash registers category are:

    1st Place (TIE – a $1,000 prize for each): Michael Callahan, Ray's Food Place, McKinleyville, Calif.

    1st Place (TIE – a $1,000 prize for each): Eric Dodge, Hy-Vee, Waterloo, Iowa

    2nd Place: Mike Viers, Food Giant, Jackson, Tenn.

    3rd Place: David Dozier, GFF Foods, Moore, Okla.

    Honorable Mentions: Judy Gauthier, Buy-Low Foods, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada; Michael Garrett, Rosauers Supermarkets, Yakima, Wash.; Al Polard, Chuck's Produce and Street Market, Vancouver, Wash.; Jason Richards, Nature's Pantry, Independence, Mo.; Brian Metcalfe, Marsh Supermarkets, Carmel, Ind.; Derek Christensen, The Port Townsend Food Co-op, Port Townsend, Wash.; Joe Ruiz, Ray's Food Place, Cloverdale, Calif.; Mike Midura, Fresh Acres Market, Springfield, Mass.; Davi Andre, Sprouts, San Diego; and Dennis Houghton, Sprouts, San Antonio.

    The winners for the 10 or more cash registers category are:

    1st Place: Dan Atkinson, Hy-Vee, Iowa City, Iowa

    2nd Place: John Sherman, Hy-Vee, Council Bluffs, Iowa

    3rd Place: Josh Pederson, Hy-Vee, Winona, Minn.

    Honorable Mentions: Derek Perisho, Hy-Vee, Olathe, Kan.; Kelsey Bartels, Martin's IGA Plus, Effingham, Ill.; Brad Franklin, Tops Markets, Towanda, Pa.; Jessica Granier, Rouses Market, Thibodaux, La.; Andy Crane, Chuck's Produce and Street Market, Vancouver, Wash.; Brandon Everett, Rouses Market, Slidell, La.; John Braun, Rouses Market, Covington, La.; Mario DeCaro, Tops Market, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; John Hugger, Rouses Market, Metairie, La.; and Bryan Burch, Hy-Vee, Kansas City.

    Photos of the winning entries are available online.

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