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    Tops Launching Locally Grown Produce Program

    The campaign, which will star the grocer's produce managers, is scheduled to roll out this summer.

    Tops Markets, LLC is readying an initiative to inform shoppers of the origin of locally grown produce sold in its 71 stores, the Williamsville, N.Y.-based grocer said this week.

    Produce managers are visiting local farms and orchards to see and learn more about fruits and vegetables in preparation for the program, which will roll out this summer and continue into the fall. During their visits, the managers participated in a photo shoot that will be part of an in-store campaign to promote local produce and growers.

    "With Tops once again under local ownership and management, it is more important than ever for us to build the relationship between Tops and our local growing partners. That's what our homegrown campaign is all about," noted Tops president and c.e.o. Frank Curci.

    The initiative will feature in-store signage that shows where the local produce comes from and tells who the local growers are. Tops is collaborating with Depew, N.Y.-based marketing firm The SKM Group to create the campaign.

    Tops, which was formerly owned by Ahold, was bought in December by Morgan Stanley Private Equity in December 2007.

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