Independent Grocer Network

For independent grocers and the wholesalers that serve them

Pan-Oston's Utopia Across America Tour: Route 2


Pan-Oston's Utopia Across America Tour: Route 2

The Utopia Group and the N.G.A. have a fleet of Innovation centers traveling the country visiting independent grocers to demonstrate the latest in front-end technology.

Location: Bowling Green, KY
Members: 18
Latest Activity: Oct 12, 2011





Discussion Forum

What's Your Biggest Checkstand Challenge?

Started by Joseph Tarnowski Feb 7, 2011. 0 Replies

The front end checkstand is a critical area of every grocer's store; not only is it the one department visited by every customer, but it's the last impression shoppers have of your store. What front…Continue

Tags: of, sale, self-checkout, point, end

Route 2 Foursquare Checkins

Loading… Loading feed

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Pan-Oston's Utopia Across America Tour: Route 2 to add comments!

Comment by Joseph Tarnowski on August 8, 2011 at 8:23am

I really enjoyed my time on the bus! I really believe any retailer who hasn't experienced a visit from one of the Mobile Innovation Centers is truly missing out on a great experience and opportunity. What impressed me is the sheer number of solutions that each bus showcases -- many of which Pan-Oston doesn't sell, but wants the retailer to see because it is a best in class solution.


I'll give you more details of the visit in my blog shortly...

Comment by Jeff Robinson on August 5, 2011 at 10:05pm

After the Ronetco Shoprite visit was finished, we had to quickly grab lunch and head down to Perlmart Shoprite in Manahawkin, NJ.  Joe commented multiple times on how much he enjoyed riding in the RV as we made the scenic drive.  Upon arrival at Perlmart Shoprite, the huge parking lot was nearly filled with cars belonging to customers.  We could easily see that this Shoprite is doing something that their customers like!  We met with five members of this team that ranged from Cashier to Store Supervisor and explained the quick ROI that can be obtained with the Cash Handling lane by eliminating overages and shortages and reducing labor time.  We really enjoyed meeting with these folks!  The day seemed to fly by and we were glad Joe came along. 

Comment by Jeff Robinson on August 5, 2011 at 10:04pm
Yesterday, the RV 2 crew had the great pleasure of welcoming Joseph Tarnowski, Director of Integrated Media/Technology Editor at Progressive Grocer and creator of the Independent Grocer Network, aboard the RV to ride along for a day on the UAA Tour. It was great to finally meet Joe in person, and to have him ride along on 2 stops of the tour was an added pleasure! We started the day by meeting with 9 members of the Ronetco Shoprite team in Stanhope, NJ. The Ronetco Shoprite that we visited was very attractive both inside and out. After speaking with the members of this team, we could easily understand why this Shoprite is so successful. This group really understands their business and customers. This particular store has had self-checkout lanes for over 2 years and says their customers really appreciate the option of using them.
Comment by Jeff Robinson on August 3, 2011 at 9:14pm
RV 2 met today with 5 members of the Bolla Oil group in Garden City, NY.  The Garden City area was very nice looking!  The gentlemen we met with were very up-to-date in their knowledge of the various technologies in both convenience stores and grocery stores.  They had some specific ideas of technologies that they were seeking for their stores that would enhance their customers' experience and also improve the efficiency of their employees.  Bolla Oil owns 27 convenience stores and the store that we visited in the area was very attractive!
Comment by Jeff Robinson on July 28, 2011 at 6:02pm
RV 2 made its way to East Windsor, CT today to meet with the Geissler’s Supermarket team. Geissler’s owns seven stores that are all in close proximity to East Windsor. Five members of the Geissler’s team came onboard the RV and saw products that Pan-Oston considers to be “best in class”. We discussed issues like sweet hearting and bottom of the basket shrink and showed them the most efficient solutions for those issues. Retailers know that these two issues alone can add up to create huge profit losses in a very short time, so controlling them is a very desirable ability.
Comment by Jeff Robinson on July 27, 2011 at 10:49pm
Today RV 2 headed up I-95 North into the BEAUTIFUL state of Maine. We met with the C.N. Brown team in South Paris, ME. C.N. Brown owns 90 stores in New Hampshire and Maine. During our visit today, we made the point that we have frequently made with other convenience store owners, self-checkout is a huge benefit for the customer in convenience stores. Self-checkouts allow customers to come in, get what they need, pay, and leave, all in a very short amount of time. Lines have become commonplace in convenience stores, and have steadily decreased the "convenience" of the store. Items like lottery tickets can cause a transaction to last up to a few minutes in some instances, and create a line of people behind. These few minutes can seem like an eternity for the customer that is running behind schedule and waiting in that line. With the addition of self-checkout lanes, other customers can complete their purchase and be on their way without waiting for that long transaction to be completed. A customer with a short wait time to get the product they want is a happy and satisfied customer!
Comment by Jeff Robinson on June 29, 2011 at 6:29pm
From Worcester, RV 2 made its way over to Burlington, MA to meet with the Roche Bros. Supermarket team at its Crossroads Plaza store location on Cambridge Street.  This Roche Bros. is an upscale supermarket with such luxurious amenities as tile and hardwood flooring and wood aisle endcaps.  I find it fascinating to see the different looks and feels of the various stores we visit on this tour.  We walked out of the store and had a great meeting on the RV.  We discussed the hot topic in the industry of how quickly the technology is being developed and utilized in today's marketplace.
Comment by Jeff Robinson on June 29, 2011 at 6:08pm
RV 2 met with the Honey Farms group this morning in Worcester, MA.  Honey Farms owns 35 convenience stores.  We explained and showed the Honey Farms group the various features and benefits of our C-Series and C-Flex cabinet systems that are perfect for convenience store applications.  We showed them the numerous standard catalog items in each of the two families of cabinet systems that allow the product to be delivered with as little as four-weeks lead time.
Comment by Jeff Robinson on June 28, 2011 at 6:29pm
The Utopia Across America Tour took RV 2 to the offices of Associated Grocers of New England today in beautiful Pembroke, NH.  We spent the entire morning there and met with various members of their group.  The AGNE group has 600+ members that consists of independent convenience and grocery store owners.  With a network of owners this large, there is a huge amount of combined knowledge and experience in this group.
Comment by Jeff Robinson on June 27, 2011 at 11:05pm
Today RV 2 made a stop at the most unique supermarket that has been visited on this year's tour so far.  We stopped at Kam Man Food supermarket in Quincy, MA.  Kam Man Food is an Asian supermarket that also includes a number of different Asian specialty shops within the supermarket, which makes it a shopping mall.  Store items ranged from exotic herbs to huge bags of rice to swords to accupuncture therapy.  There was even a psychic in a tent inside the store.  We had a great meeting with the store owner and learned a few things as well.  We felt grateful to have the opportunity to visit this unique supermarket!

Members (18)



  • Add Videos
  • View All




Independent Grocer Network is a social network

© 2014   Created by Joseph Tarnowski.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service