LOS ANGELES — The father-and-son team that owns the seven Market of Choice locations in Oregon were named winners of the annual Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award, presented by Unified Grocers here. The winners are Richard L. “Dick” Wright, founder of Wright's Foodliner, Eugene, Ore., and his son Richard L. “Rick” Wright Jr. The award, named after the former chairman and longtime director of Unified and its predecessor companies, is given annually to an independent grocer who is a leader and innovator in the industry. Dick Wright founded Wright's Foodliner in 1979 and operated price-impact stores under the Price Chopper banner through the 1990s; in 2000, Rick Wright directed a modification of the business to better fit the changing needs of customers under the Market of Choice banner, which features organic and natural foods, restaurant-quality prepared foods, locally produced products, and gourmet and specialty products. According to Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer of Unified, "Rick Wright is a visionary [who] understands the trends in the market, listens to his customers and then delivers products and services with a flourish and passion. Dick Wright is the anchor — a person responsible for the success and growth of the business over a long period."
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