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Photo Release -- Newport Avenue Market Wins Unified Grocers' 2015 Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award

COMMERCE, Calif., Feb. 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rudy and Debbie Dory and their daughter Lauren Johnson — owners of Newport Avenue Market in Bend, Oregon — were the recipients of the 2015 "Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award" from Unified Grocers at a special awards dinner last night in Los Angeles. This is the tenth year that Unified has presented the award to an outstanding independent retailer.

(Back row, from left to right) Unified Grocers President and CEO Bob Ling, Newport Avenue Market owners Debbie Dory, Lauren Johnson and Rudy Dory with Ben Schwartz (seated front) a former Chairman of the Board of Unified Grocers who the annual "Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award" is named after.


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=30513

"It's an honor to receive this prestigious award and I'm proud that Newport Avenue Market is the first single-store recipient," said Rudy Dory.

In presenting the award, Bob Ling, President and Chief Executive Officer, Unified Grocers, said that Newport Avenue Market has thrived because it's a reflection of the Dory family. "Rudy, Debbie and Lauren are committed not only to their customers and their staff but also to the local community and that's reflected in their many successes over the years," said Ling.

"Their passion to create a unique shopping experience is clearly evident as you walk through the store," he added. "Innovation, quality and a friendly, knowledgeable staff are central to the success of Newport Avenue Market and that's why customers come from near and far."

The annual award is named after Ben Schwartz, a former Chairman of the Board of Unified Grocers. Schwartz was in attendance at the awards dinner.

The award is given to an independent retail grocer or grocery company that is a leader and innovator in the retail grocery industry. The award recognizes retailers who, by their practice and example, have consistently demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership within their businesses and, in the process, have inspired others to think and act creatively and with passion in the grocery field. To be eligible, retailers must be — or have been — a member of Unified Grocers or one of its predecessor companies.

"The award carries the name of a true retail visionary," Ling explained. "The idea behind it is to recognize someone in our retail community who exemplifies the spirit and character Ben Schwartz demonstrated throughout his long career. We're proud to give this award to the Dory family. Newport Avenue Market is a great store and the best is yet to come."

In addition to the award that was presented to Newport Avenue Market, a duplicate is on permanent display in the lobby of Unified's headquarters building in Commerce, Calif. A plaque recognizing Newport Avenue Market as the 2014 winner has been added to the permanent award.

About Unified Grocers, Inc.

Founded in 1922, Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified, which generated approximately $3.9 billion in sales during fiscal 2014, offers independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry. For more information about Unified Grocers, visit: http://www.unifiedgrocers.com.

CONTACT: Paul Dingsdale, Communications Director (323) 881-4150 PDingsdale@unifiedgrocers.com

Source: Unified Grocers