German discount grocer Lidl will begin the hiring process for 800 workers in Virginia this week, as the retailer prepares to open its first stores in the US this summer. Lidl will hire 4,000 East Coast workers within a year of its US launch, which will start with 20 stores in Virginia and North and South Carolina.
Whole Foods Market is using analytics firm Dunnhumby's expertise to improve its store-level category management and roll out a new loyalty program, two efforts that must work together for the retailer, Whole Foods Chief Information Officer Jason Buechel said. Whole Foods is in the midst of replacing an old loyalty program with a new one that is more straightforward and offers digital coupons.
SpartanNash will test a click-and-collect program at a Family Fare store, with the goal of expanding the program to 25 stores by the end of the year, the company said Thursday. The test will not be the retailer's first foray into online ordering and pickup, but the latest test will include an element of personalization.
Wineries in the Paso Robles area of California are likely to be the subject of mergers and acquisitions, according to a report from Silicon Valley Bank. "It's a desirable growing area that's every bit as much in demand as Napa and Sonoma, especially because of the good value for the quality of grapes and wine," said report author Rob McMillan.
Heavy rains soaking Northern California have done only minimal damage to vineyards, according to farmers. As rains continue, the time of year in which vines are pruned could become compressed, but the deluge is also restoring reservoirs and other water supplies, vintners say.
A building in Thornton, Ill., that once was a Prohibition-era brewery supplying speakeasies is being converted into a distillery. One feature of the building: an artesian well on the site that provides high-quality water the new owners will use in club soda and tonic water.
A bill in the Iowa Legislature would give distillers the right to sell alcohol by the glass to visitors, as those making beer and wine now have the right to do. Measures to streamline Iowa's laws on alcohol have been boosted by Gov. Terry Branstad, who assembled a task force to look for improvements.
The James Beard Foundation will hold its third Blended Burger Project this summer. Restaurant chefs compete with new recipes for burgers that blend meat and mushrooms, and consumers can vote for their favorites in June and July.
Agricultural startup Urban Seed aims to build a greenhouse farm in the middle of Las Vegas, where it will produce 25 varieties of fruits and vegetables. "We really feel that if you can grow food in Las Vegas, then you can grow food anywhere," said Vice President Rachel Wenman.
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