Agriculture Commissioner James Comer joins Debbie Winstead, center, and Debbie’s daughter, April, and grandchildren at the Kentucky Proud Popcorn display in the Kroger supermarket on Tates Creek Road in Lexington. Debbie and husband Kerry live in Slaughters in Webster County and grow popcorn for Kentucky Proud Popcorn. April and her children live in Lexington. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Kroger adds 125 Kentucky Proud products in 88 stores throughout the Commonwealth
For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 6, 2014
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dozens of Kentucky family farms and small businesses will benefit from a historic partnership between Kentucky Proud and Kroger, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced today.
Next to a Kentucky Proud display at the Kroger supermarket on Tates Creek Road, Commissioner Comer said that Kroger will sell 125 products from 34 Kentucky Proud producers in 88 stores throughout Kentucky. Comer said the initial purchase filled a 10,000-square-foot warehouse and totaled $350,000, a record for a single transaction in the history of Kentucky Proud.
“A purchase of this scope will make a big difference to these people,” Commissioner Comer said. “Kroger has always carried a wide selection of local products, and we appreciate Kroger’s continuing commitment to Kentucky Proud producers.”
“For decades Kentucky Kroger stores have offered a significant variety of locally sourced products, especially in our produce, meat and deli departments,” said Tim McGurk, public affairs manager for Kroger’s Louisville division. “But this week, thanks to tremendous support from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Kroger is taking the ‘Buy Local’ initiative to an entirely new level. We know that our shoppers will be thrilled to find all the new products from Kentucky farm families and local producers available in our stores.”
Commissioner Comer also used the occasion to introduce Kentucky Proud Popcorn, a premium popcorn product made from corn grown by western Kentucky farm families. The popcorn is processed by Preferred Popcorn, founded by Nebraska popcorn grower Norm Krug, which purchased a Murray, Ky., family’s popcorn business and maintained connections to Kentucky growers.
Fishmarket Seafood, a family-owned distributor in Louisville, will distribute the products to all 88 stores, which was instrumental to coordinating a product launch of this scope, Kroger officials said.
At the Lexington event, Commissioner Comer showed two television commercials that will support the Kentucky Proud launch and video of a flyover of Weisenberger Mill in Midway.
Featured guests on hand for the event included:
- Bryan Kittleson and Taryn Mynear of Kroger
- Steve and Brad Smith of Fishmarket Seafood
- Brian Churchill and Dave Roberts of Preferred Popcorn
- Debbie Winstead of Slaughters, one of the family farmers who grow Kentucky Proud Popcorn, with her daughter, April, and grandson, Owen
- Catrina Hill of Louisville, founder of Catrina’s Kitchen, which makes seasoned mixes
- Philip Weisenberger from Weisenberger Mill, which makes some 70 products from grains grown by central Kentucky farmers
- Amy Henson and Wes McFadden of Laurel County, makers of Rock Bottom Goat’s Milk Soap
- Another announcement is scheduled for Friday at the Springhurst Kroger at 9440 Brownsboro Road in Louisville.