ASG Growth Thrived in 2020, A Win for Independents

Rising above the unprecedented challenges of 2020, Associated Supermarket Group, a retail solutions and finance company based in New York, led independent supermarket growth by adding 34 new accounts to its $1.6 billion retail network. In recent years, as regional grocery chains have filed for bankruptcy or shut down, ASG saw a shift in commitment from independents to persevere, strengthening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to serve the public.

In 2020, ASG expanded to North Jersey, where it welcomed two new stores to the network: The Highlands Market by Shopwell in Hewitt, and Buddy’s Marketplace in Manalapan. In New York City, ASG gained 23 new supermarkets, including expansion ventures for Lincoln Market, Antillana, and Associated Fresh supermarkets, which are urban family operators. These families and the 23 new supermarkets are a lifeline to serve the needs of New York City neighborhoods at a time when grocery stores are among the few businesses allowed to keep their doors open. Fortunately, these stores serve communities that have suffered disproportionately from COVID-19’s devastating social and economic impact.

Out east on Long Island, ASG ensured that its customers, including two newcomers, met their aggressive growth plans to serve the uptick in at-home-consumption rates of suburban consumers who increasingly work and learn remotely at home during the pandemic. ASG welcomed the ninth Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace at 1170 Deer Park Ave in North Babylon and the ninth Giunta’s Meat Farm at 399 Medford Ave in Patchogue to the portfolio of non-bannered stores it powers. In addition, ASG picked up five secondary accounts.

Coupled with store growth during 2020, ASG addressed the digital divide issue for independent supermarkets. To ensure that independents have an e-commerce presence as more consumers cite time savings and safety precaution during the pandemic as two reasons for shifting to online grocery shopping, ASG established a partnership with Instacart to bridge the e-commerce gap for the 230-plus stores it serves. In addition to Instacart, ASG will continue to offer an in-house e-commerce solution with the Rosie app.

During 2021, ASG, which currently has a presence in seven states, will focus its business development resources on expansion and continue to strengthen the retail network of stores it serves. ASG is committed to increase entrepreneurship by providing the services, scale and expertise that allow independent supermarkets to thrive on their independence.

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AUA Private Equity Consummates Sale of Associated Supermarket Group to Senior Management

Port Washington, NY – January 12, 2021 – AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC (“AUA Private Equity”) is pleased to announce that it has consummated the sale of Associated Supermarket Group, LLC (“ASG”), to ASG’s senior management, led by Joe Garcia (CEO) and Zulema Wiscovitch (EVP & CAO) with financing from Freedom 3 Capital and other investors. ASG provides retail solutions to approximately 230 independently owned grocery stores in the New York Tri-State Area and other cities along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, providing distribution, marketing, merchandising, promotional services, and store financing. Under the new structure, Joe and Zulema will share responsibilities of co-President and co-CEO.

Over its hold, AUA Private Equity was instrumental in evolving ASG from a family-owned business to an institutional company providing supermarket retail solutions and services to independent grocery operators. Under AUA Private Equity’s ownership, ASG acquired four prominent New York supermarket banners, expanded its store footprint into contiguous geographies, built institutional systems and processes, and recruited a leading management team.

Andy Unanue, Managing Partner of AUA Private Equity and Chairman of ASG, stated: “I am very proud of how AUA Private Equity strengthened the value proposition of ASG during our ownership and delivered long-lasting benefits for independent grocers that operate stores in multicultural communities.”

Steven Flyer, Partner of AUA Private Equity, commented: “Our investment in ASG reflects AUA Private Equity’s ongoing strategy of investing in family-owned companies where we can institutionalize a privately-held business, expand the company’s service offerings, and accelerate growth. Our sale to the company’s management team is a very good outcome for our investors, our management team, and ASG’s customers, and positions ASG as a leading provider of retail solutions and distribution to independent retailers.”

Joe Garcia, co-President & co-CEO of ASG, added: “I have enjoyed our partnership with AUA and I am excited to begin the next chapter for ASG under management ownership. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers, expand our footprint to other areas, and offer a tremendous value that positions the supermarkets we service ahead of their competition.”

Zulema Wiscovitch, co-President & co-CEO of ASG stated, “We are thrilled to embark on this journey as we envision ASG’s future of continued growth with an emphasis on retail excellence, an outstanding value proposition and innovation for the benefit of our customers, and our mutual success in the marketplace. We have a phenomenal team of people who are laser-focused on accomplishing our goals and growth objectives.”

The sale transaction was led by Partner Steven Flyer, Vice President Jack Lin, and Associate Greg Conway. McDermott Will & Emery provided legal advice and RSM US LLP provided financial and accounting advice to AUA Private Equity. Ancoris Capital Partners acted as financial advisor to ASG management and the buying group.

About AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC

AUA Private Equity Partners is an operationally focused, lower middle-market investment firm providing strategic capital to companies in the consumer products and services sectors with a particular focus on family-owned businesses or companies benefiting from the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population. AUA Private Equity makes equity investments of $20 to $75 million in companies that generate in excess of $5 million in EBITDA. For more information on AUA Private Equity, please visit

About Associated Supermarket Group, LLC

ASG provides retail solutions to approximately 230 independently owned grocery stores in the New York Tri-State Area and other cities along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. The Company licenses its “Associated”, “Compare”, “Met Foods”, “Pioneer”, “MetFresh” and “Metropolitan Citymarkets” proprietary trade names to independent grocery store owners and provides services in the form of grocery distribution, marketing, merchandising, promotional services, advertising, and store financing. For more information on Associated Supermarket Group, LLC, please visit

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C&S Standard Credit Changes, Effective July 22, 2020

C&S is implementing an updated standard credit program which is effective now. Please note the following:

– The program will cover shortages and mispicks only. Standard credit will cover overages, shortages and mispicks under $150.

– The call in threshold will go from $300 to $150. Claims over $150 can be called in for credit.

– Mispicks not carried by the store may be communicated to customer service. Credit will be issued on the short item upon return of the mispick.

– The following is not part of standard credit and credit can be requested within 24 hours of the delivery via C&S’ customer service department.

– Damages- to be called in at the unit level- C&S may request a picture.

– Off Condition Product – C&S may request a picture.

– Short Coded (based on existing guidelines) / Out of Code product – C&S may request a picture with code date and lot code.

If you have any questions please feel to contact the C&S customer service team at 800-888-6737.

As always we appreciate your support and your business!



Michael Tarloff

Senior Director of Sales

C&S Wholesale Grocers


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ASG Statement on Met Foods and Store Protocols

We have zero tolerance for racial injustice, violence, bigotry and hate and were very disturbed by what happened on June 7th.

We have discussed our position on the incident with the store owner and he has committed to taking measures, including the implementation of store protocols to ensure this does not happen again. We plan to monitor the implementation and compliance of these protocols.

ASG provides independent supermarket owners – many of whom are immigrants or first-generation families pursuing their American Dream – with retail solutions and services to help them succeed.

As part of this mission and striving to be catalysts for positive change, we will provide the stores we serve with practical training to address security and public safety issues. This training will educate store owners on how to establish procedures and strengthen existing security plans, implement a crisis management plan, and train employees on proper de-escalation protocols to help manage future shoplifting situations and other security concerns. Our objective is to prevent the mishandling of situations like these from happening in the future.

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ASG Statement on Community and Justice

We stand with the community against racial injustice, violence, and hate. We support peaceful demonstrations but condemn hostility and crime.

The independent, family-owned, and operated supermarkets we serve, are part of the fabric of the communities where they operate. During this global pandemic, these supermarkets and their essential workers are on the front lines, servicing the vital food supply needs of the community.

Diversity and inclusion matter to us inside and outside of our headquarters.  We will continue to invest in and support the diverse small businesses that operate under our trade names, Associated, Associated Fresh, Compare, Met Food, Met Fresh, Pioneer, and other independent names.

ASG’s mission is to provide independent supermarket owners with retail solutions and services to succeed without compromising the freedom to run their stores, as many of them are immigrants or first-generation families pursuing their American Dream.  We continue to build community economic growth by investing in multicultural and economically diverse retail opportunities. The ASG team and its leadership mirror the multicultural world where we do business. We believe diversity drives opportunity and we are committed to stand united for justice with the communities we serve.

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ASG Promotes Michelle Mendoza to VP of Marketing & Customer Experience and Francisco Nieves to VP of Sales

May 5, 2020

I am pleased to announce the promotion of Michelle Mendoza to Vice President of Marketing & Customer Experience and Francisco Nieves to Vice President of Sales.

Michelle joined the company in June of 2016, with over 10 years of marketing experience.

This promotion recognizes Michelle’s many contributions to ASG, especially her role in rising the profile of our core banners Associated, Compare, Met Foods and Pioneer, the development of our house brand Avenue A, the implementation of our marketing initiatives and the improvements of our Customer Experience department.

She will continue to report to me as she leads the company’s marketing, communications and customer experience initiatives to position ASG and its brands as an integral part of our success.

With over 23 years of experience, Francisco joined ASG in 2017, as our Senior Director of Sales where he focused on securing new store opportunities and growing our existing stores sales.

This promotion recognizes Francisco’s leading role in growing the company’s sales and his efforts coaching his team to elevate their level of performance and service to our customers.

He will continue to report to me as we strive to increase sales while improving ASG’s value proposition to our customers. Francisco plays a significant role in the future growth of the company.

Please join me in congratulating Michelle and Francisco on his well-deserved promotion.




Zulema T. Wiscovitch

Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer

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Family Owned Independent Supermarkets Strive to Service Their Customers Despite Challenges

Michelle Mendoza

Family Owned Independent Supermarkets Strive to Service Their Customers Despite Challenges
Plea for public cooperation to keep supermarkets safe amid COVID-19

Port Washington, NY, April 15, 2020– Independent supermarkets are open and servicing their customer’s grocery needs despite facing many challenges, including lack of employees and an uncertain supply of goods due to the pandemic. Supermarket owners along with their employees are on the front lines, opening their doors every day to keep food and other necessities accessible to their customers, while complying with newly established regulations, such as social distancing and overcrowding.

Due to the tremendous demand for food, paper and cleaning items created by the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, including an increased at-home consumption, supermarkets are facing supply challenges as wholesalers and manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand. Additionally, the virus has also affected manufacturing plants
and wholesalers.

The lack of employees and difficulties finding employees willing to work at supermarkets, is another challenge that these family owned businesses have encountered. The daily restocking of shelves due to the unprecedented demand from customers have taken a toll on these supermarkets and their employees.

Nonetheless, most of these independent supermarkets are taking steps and protocols to implement the CDC’s and the State’s recommendations to ensure the public and their employees stay safe, including social distancing, crowd control, providing masks and gloves to their employees, installing plexiglass at register areas, and professionally
sanitizing the premises with frequency.

Supermarket owners are asking the public’s cooperation to shop safely. “Most customers are taking precautions by covering their faces, shopping with one or two people at most, and maintaining a safe social distance between other customers when inside the stores. But we still need public cooperation and mindfulness that our supermarkets are smaller, and we need to protect our employees in order to continue to operate during this crisis. We are asking that people cover their mouth and nose when shopping, have patience to come into the store and to discard of their gloves and masks in the proper receptacles. Our employees should not have to increase their exposure because of customer’s littering their used personal protective equipment,” said Bill Fani, owner of Met Foods and The Village Barn supermarkets in Staten Island and Queens.

“Many of the stores we serve are stepping up their hygiene and sanitation efforts to hospital grade sterilizations,” said Joe Garcia, President and CEO of Associated Supermarket Group, “and the investment is a significant one for these small businesses. Public collaboration is needed with proper hygiene and discipline so that we can continue to support the stores with retail services and solutions to operate safely while fighting the silent enemy, COVID19.” ASG has arranged for supermarkets in the network to have access to PPE for their employees, in addition to sneeze guards for registers and proper social distancing signage. It’s main supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers has adapted a no-contact delivery system.

“We are providing the supermarkets in our group important information to navigate this very challenging time; from legislation changes to templates with protocols to be posted in the stores for the public’s benefit”, said Zulema Wiscovitch, Executive Vice President & CAO of ASG. “We are also leveraging our media and advertising vehicles to drive public awareness with the campaign Shop Safely, Stay Healthy, which promotes safe grocery
shopping and best practices to stay healthy and halt the spread of the virus”, she added.

Associated Supermarket Group, LLC (ASG) serves independently owned supermarkets in the New York Tri-State Area and other cities along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. ASG provides store financing, leverages its relationships with suppliers and vendors, as well as its collective buying power to provide efficient procurement, distribution, marketing, merchandising, advertising, promotion and other retail solutions. ASG’s supermarket banners include Associated, Compare, Met Foods, Met Fresh, Metropolitan City Market, Pioneer and other independently named stores.

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PHOTOS: 2019 ASG Holiday Dinner

Thank you for joining us on Saturday for the ASG 2019 Holiday Dinner. Indeed, a memorable and fun night.

In case you missed the epic night, Albano & Americo Seabra along with their respective families received the Retailer of the Year award and Kimberly-Clark received the Recognition of Partnership award.

For event pictures, click here.

For photo booth pictures, click here.

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