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The Maine Grocers & Food Producers named Ed and Kathy Bell, owners of two IGA stores in Calais and Orono, Maine, as the 2014 Grocer of the Year. The award honors members of the association who contribute to the association and industry as well as the community, provide a positive work place, and further opportunities for other businesses in the state.
The Bells took over management of the 8,000-square-foot Calais IGA Foodliner in 1976 and opened the 21,000-square-foot store in Orono in 1999. In 2006, the couple relocated the Calais store to a new 20,000-square-foot location. The stores recorded their best year to date in 2013.
The association also named Bozzuto’s Inc. 2014 Wholesaler of the Year. Bozzuto’s, based in Cheshire, Conn., is a total service wholesale distributor of groceries and perishable foods that serves 168 IGA stores in the New England, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania markets. The company is a long-time supporter of the Special Olympics and raised $1.1 million this August during its Dream Ride Experience motorcycle ride, classic car show and car cruise.