FreshDirect and the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce Host “Grow Through Grocery!” Virtual Seminar

Bronx, NY – FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, and the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce (NYWCC), on Wednesday, February 16 from 6-7:30pm EST, hosted the “Grow Through Grocery!” Virtual Seminar. The event was formatted into four sections covering merchandising, customer service, marketing and production and operations, all designed to educate attendees on how to do business with FreshDirect and other large companies as Minority/Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE).

At this informative virtual event which took place during Black History Month, experts from FreshDirect shared knowledge on topics including sourcing, merchandising, packaging, marketing, social media, customer service, and more. Breakout sessions were conducted for a deeper dive on each of the areas. Attendees are able to apply for the FreshDirect Business Mentorship Program, where selected participants will have an opportunity to be mentored by FreshDirect experts that can help them take their business to the next level as M/WBEs.

“At FreshDirect, we have a long-standing commitment of supporting all of our local vendor partners, especially our Black-owned, minority and female vendor partners to provide counsel and guidance on industry best practices and latest trends,” said Larry Scott Blackmon, Vice President of Public Affairs at FreshDirect. “We are proud to partner with New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce for this virtual event and share knowledge and expertise on what attendees’ brands would need to make it to retail, and look forward to continuing to support some of these businesses through the FreshDirect Business Mentorship Program.”

“At the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce (NYWCC), we work every day to help women and minority entrepreneurs build their businesses by providing the tools, resources and access to the opportunities necessary for them to grow their businesses and advance economically,” said Quenia Abreu, President, NYWCC. “For NYWCC, it is all about the inclusion of M/WBEs in business opportunities. This is the reason why we are excited to have FreshDirect as one of our partners in our efforts to advance M/WBEs. This virtual event was a total success! We look forward to continuing this collaboration through a FreshDirect Mentorship Program to give MWBE firms access to mentors in the food industry that can help them take their business to the next level.”  

Event speakers covered an array of topics, with a further breakdown on each presentation below:

Keys to the Customer: Building Retailer Relationships        

Presenters: Loan Heilner, Category Manager, Frozen, FreshDirect; Mary Mitchell, Category Manager, Produce, FreshDirect    


  • How to prepare to approach a retailer with your product
  • Working with a retailer to reach customers
  • Dos & Don’ts of a merchant/vendor relationship

Customer Service—Your Framework

Presenters: Tracy Hill and Karen Connaughton, Directors of Customer Service, FreshDirect


  • Laying your service minded foundation
  • Building your contact channels and policies
  • The importance of data

Marketing Essentials: Building Your Brand & Spreading the Word

Presenters: Katie Zapata, Vice President, Brand Marketing, FreshDirect; Amanda Temes, Manager, Media, Strategy & Affiliate, FreshDirect


  • How to shape your brand purpose, positioning and customer promise
  • What you need to know before launching a marketing campaign
  • What the marketing funnel is and why it’s important
  • How to think about media channels from social media to digital advertising

Best Business Practices & Team Management: Manufacturing & Warehouse Operations 

Presenters: Michelle Berrios, Senior Manager, Bakery Production, FreshDirect;  Cherise Taylor, Inventory Control Manager, FreshDirect


  • How to find a balance between Safety, Quality and Productivity?
  • Understand the variables that impact your business
  • What CAN you do?
  • What is the difference between fast and efficient?

About FreshDirect
FreshDirect is a leading online fresh food grocer, delivering directly to customers across seven states throughout the New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. Launched in 2002 and headquartered in the Bronx, NY, FreshDirect is a great local brand, part of the Ahold Delhaize family of companies. For more information, visit

About the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Started in 2002, New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce (NYWCC) was the first women’s chamber in the City and State of New York. NYWCC is dedicated to assisting women of all ethnicities and industries achieve success and economic independence through business ownership and self-employment.