FORT MYERS, Fla. — A handful of retailers here got caught in a standoff between rival deli suppliers this month, when one supplier crashed another's weekend fund-raiser, according to local reports.
Between 25 and 40 Boar's Head delivery trucks and vans appeared at three separate retailer locations and one foodservice location in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte, Fla. on Dec. 5, disrupting fund-raisers hosted by Philadelphia-based deli supplier Dietz & Watson to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a cancer foundation.
“We're a family-owned grocery store that doesn't bother anybody, and about 25 trucks came in our parking lot, two to three people in each truck,” said Jay Carney, store manager at an affected Topps location. “[They] just blocked our parking lot, and were handing stuff out to people.”
After he called the police, the Boar's Head trucks left his lot.
Bill Conway, owner of City Deli, another affected location, told SN that he treated the event as both a taste-test and a fund-raiser, and that he received calls from his employees at his home about Boar's Head trucks in the parking lot.
Other affected locations included the Sandy Gourmet Market and Mario's Italian Meat Market.
RuthAnn LaMore, a spokeswoman for Boar's Head Provisions, which supplies the Boar's Head brand to the company's network of independent distributors, said that she had spoken with the local affiliate and had apologized to those affected on Boar's Head's behalf. The distributors will be making a contribution to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to make up for any funds that have been lost.
LaMore added that Boar's Head is also a corporate partner of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and that the brand's distributors often host similar fund-raising events at retail locations. In this case, the distributors did not know they were disrupting a fund-raiser, but instead wanted to make the brand's presence felt at what it thought was a series of taste-test competitions in the area, LaMore said.