Dominic’s of New York®, a division of Richmond based FoodNet, Inc. announced today that Giant Food, Inc. of Landover, Maryland has agreed to carry Dominic’s of New York® Authentic Italian Sausage in all 173 of its supermarkets. The distinctive 1-pound package, in both hot and mild versions, is slated to hit the shelves on June 22, 2000.
“This is major step forward for our branded products division”, commented John Felico, FoodNet’s President. With the addition of Giant Food, we now have supermarket presence for our Italian Sausage products from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.
Dominic’s of New York® has its roots in the street festivals of New York where the Felico family has served their signature Italian sausage for generations. In 1994, Felico secured a deal with Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse of North Wilkesboro, NC to locate kiosk-based Dominic’s of New York® restaurants at Lowe’s locations in Richmond, Virginia. “I always knew that this was just the beginning”, Felico went on to say. “We have terrific products and customers kept asking if they could buy our sausage to cook at home. It was only a matter of time before we entered the retail markets”.
Dominic’s has grown to over 50 restaurant locations and has branched out into regional malls, ballparks, amusement parks, and outlet centers. Dominic’s of New York® restaurants can be found in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania, with locations scheduled to open in North Carolina in the near future. The company began franchising in 1998, and expects to open 10 additional locations in 2000 and at least 20 in 2001. Nick DiMarino, a veteran of Dominic’s field operations now heads up New Development. “The opportunities ahead of us are staggering. Our relationship with Lowe’s gets stronger every day, and our franchise program is perfect for the owner operator who wants a secure, low investment business opportunity”.
In response to the demand for retail products, Dominic’s introduced its famous Italian Sausage in Hot and Mild versions at Ukrop’s Supermarkets, a highly regarded Richmond based supermarket chain in 1999. “Sales were through the roof right from the start” commented Cindy Horstman, Dominic’s brand development manager. “We always knew we had a great product, and it’s fantastic how the public has come out to support our brand”. After Ukrop’s came the Farm Fresh Supermarkets in the Tidewater region of Virginia. “After that, it was just a matter of how fast we could show it to people. When you have a good product, it sells itself”.
“This is just the beginning”, remarked Felico. “We’ve developed of line of fully-cooked, brown and serve Italian Sausage that provides food safety, portion control and ease of preparation.” The frozen product, comes packaged with prepared peppers & onions, 40 portions of sausage, and Dominic’s of New York® sandwich wrap and is available through normal foodservice distribution and is perfect for convenience stores, ballparks, stadiums, and any place where ease of preparation and portion control are factors. “This product is an instant hit,” Felico went on to say. “We’re in the process of developing programs for wide scale distribution, including carts and other cooking equipment for use in stadiums and other high volume venues. We’ve got a tiger by the tail with this one.”
John Stringfield, of Finova Mezzanine Capital, which provided FoodNet with start-up capital, is just as impressed with what he sees. “We’ve always felt that FoodNet had great opportunities to expand the kiosk-based foodservice segment, but it’s amazing how they’ve leveraged the Dominic’s of New York® brand into so many new areas. We predict a bright future for this company”.
About Dominic’s of New York® — Dominic’s of New York® is a subsidiary of privately held FoodNet, Inc., a Richmond, Virginia based restaurant operator and the franchisor of Dominic’s of New York®. The company operates more than 50 locations in 6 states, offering a wide selection of high-quality sandwiches cooked to order while you wait. Several Dominic’s of New York® locations are state of the art kiosks operated under a long-term agreement with Lowe’s Companies, Inc. Formed in 1994, FoodNet, Inc. has grown more than 126% per year and now employs 150+ people, plus several franchise operations. For additional information call 1-888-DOM-OF-NYTM.
About Lowe’s Companies, Inc. — With 1999 sales of $15.9 billion, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is the world’s second largest home improvement retailer. Headquartered in Wilkesboro, N.C., Lowe’s is the 18th largest retailer in the U.S. as well as the 40th largest retailer worldwide. Lowe’s and its 100,000 employees are Improving Home Improvement for nearly five million do-it- yourself retail and commercial business customers each week at 594 stores in 39 states. Lowe’s has been a publicly owned company since October 10, 1961. Its stock has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since December 19, 1979, on the Pacific Stock Exchange since January 26, 1981, and on the Stock Exchange in London since October 6, 1981. For more information, visit lowes.com.
About Giant Food — Giant Food was founded in 1936 in Washington, D.C. Today, the company serves customers in the Baltimore/Washington market area and in the Delaware Valley regions of New Jersey and Delaware, under the Super G store banner. The Giant Family now includes over 25,000 associates. In 1998, Giant became a member of the Royal Ahold international family of fine grocery stores. Royal Ahold is a rapidly growing international food provider with over 7,000 stores in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, servicing more than 30 million customers every week.
About Finova Capital Corporation — The FINOVA Group Inc., through its principal operating subsidiary, FINOVA Capital Corporation, is one of the nation’s leading financial service companies focused on providing a broad range of capital solutions primarily to midsize business. FINOVA is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., with business development offices throughout the U.S. and in London, U.K., and Toronto, Canada.