After noticing a void in the Asian food market in the area in which he lived, Roger Chen founded Tawa Supermarket in 1984. The business began as a single-location operation in Westminster, Calif., but throughout the last two and a half decades, it has grown significantly. 

Read more: 99 Ranch Market

Making a brand better isn’t just about advertising realignment, especially for a company with 96% brand recognition. So when Nelson Marchioli became president and CEO of Denny’s in 2001, he knew it would take more than a new scrambled egg dish to turn the tide of consumer opinion. 

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Value isn’t a one-way street heading straight to cost savings, especially in the grocery industry. Value also includes customer service, quality, and freshness. These are the tenets upon which Cosentino’s Food Stores was developed 61 years ago when Dante Cosentino bought a local market. A famous ecclesiastical Kansas City artist, Dante’s skill set was in painting, but his expertise was in taking care of people, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

Read more: Cosentino’s Food Stores

After more than 35 years in business, Tree of Life is known as a leader in natural, organic and specialty food distribution. Unfortunately, the company hit a rough patch a few years ago, and needed a fresh vision. With a new president, a new senior team, significant IT investments, and a bold new strategy, 2009 looks to be a good year.

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After 25 years in the greater New York City area, The Food Emporium-New York has undergone a number of reinventions, but none so dramatic as the transition Hans Heer, SVP & general manager since 2006, has undertaken. This once typical neighborhood supermarket is quickly becoming a luxury outlet for high-end and specialty food items, and the recession hasn’t dampened Heer’s spirits.

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For Premier, which has $450 million in annual sales and 9,500 employees, the art begins with knowing its strengths. Beauty services, especially hair care, comprise the company’s sweet spot, according to CEO Brian Luborsky. He estimates that no other company does more facials or massages in the US.

Read more: Premier Salons

When was established in 1998, e-commerce was just starting. Traditional distributors and wholesalers were just beginning to sniff out opportunities on the Internet, but Michael Chang, president, decided to take a chance.

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Unlike most retail Web sites, works to complement Costco Wholesale’s business to the benefit of current members. Rolled out in 1998, the site maintains the same low margins as its bricks-and-mortar counterpart but has between 15 million and 16 million visits within every four-week period. 

Read more: Costco Wholesale

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