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The Wakefern Food Corp. retail cooperative’s recently minted 47th member, Kenneth Thompson, will own and operate a new ShopRite store slated to open later this year at 1121 Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale, N.Y., along with his family. The Thompsons bring over 70 years of collective experience to the Keasbey, N.J.-based co-op.
Kenneth Thompson, a lifelong Long Island resident and 45-year grocery industry veteran, most recently held the position of SVP of operations at now-defunct Syracuse, N.Y.-based Penn Traffic. Before that, he was president of A&P’s Waldbaum’s banner from 2004 through 2006. Thompson was also a store manager of the ShopRite of Bellmore, NY from 1980 to 1984 and as VP of operations for Saker ShopRites (formerly Foodarama) from 1984 to 1991.
Working alongside Thompson is his son, Kenneth Thompson Jr., who has spent 25 years in the supermarket industry, including management positions at ShopRite and several supermarket chains.
“It has long been my wish to open my own store,” said Kenneth Thompson, president and CEO of K. Thompson Food Corp., Inc. “Having the privilege to do so, with the ShopRite name and cooperative to support us, means a great deal to my family.”
The largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, Wakefern consists of members who individually own and operate over 200 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. The company also operates 43 PriceRite stores in five states. Wakefern and its member companies employ over 50,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in New Jersey. In addition to being the merchandising and distribution arm of both ShopRite and PriceRite, Wakefern distributes products to other supermarkets throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda.