2014 Annual Buying Food Show & Educational Seminar at Great American Ball Park

Every year I write a review of our Educational Buying Food Show and it seems like I’m bragging just trying to make our company look good, but you know you really have to say it was a another GREAT SHOW.  Year after year, the Crosset Company puts on a terrific show, from the educational part to the food show itself and especially the boat; it’s a first class event.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!!!
When you look at the agenda of all the things that happened at the show every year, you have to be impressed. First the facility is awesome, just being able to walk around the Ball Park and look and see how beautiful the field is and to think about all the different players who play on the field, is incredible.  Then, the lunch looking out over the ball park and the food show itself with all our Signature Suppliers, being able to ask them anything you want and to see the product that they proudly present; the opportunity to tour the entire Ball Park; to get to see the Hall of Fame and the opportunity to take batting practice, and don’t forget the free drawings for a Pete Rose autographed baseballs.  WOW!!!!!




How about the CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association, Laura Batcha?  Didn’t she know her stuff? She probably has her finger on the pulse of the Organic Category more than anyone else in the organic field. Can you remember all the information she gave us?  That the total organic sales increased to 35 Billion in 2013.  I remember in 1990, the total organic sales was less than 1 billion.  What about the fact that the organic Industry over the last decade has increased over 325%, which means the organic category has increased 11% to 12% every year.


What about Todd Linsky?  Here is a guy I’ve known for years and I have never heard him speak, he did a great job; and the Cal-Organic label speaks for itself.  The comment that sticks out in my mind from his talk was; you must create a positive shopping experience in your store.  In today’s marketplace, I believe the store that creates the best shopping experience wins which means your department conditions need to be right every day!


And what about the passion of Tom Beddard?  Here is a guy that loves the smell of dirt after a rain, who is really happy doing what he is doing.  Actually he is an example of the American Dream, with hard work, a dream you can do anything you set out to do, and the Lady Moon label is proof of that. I especially appreciated his “fiery” personality!


How about Pete Rose? I wander if he knows he could be a stand-up comic?  He really could and the stories that he has and who he has played with are incredible.  He truly is a living legend and I hope he gets into the Hall of Fame. To me, Pete Rose is the Big Red Machine, when I think about the Big Red Machine I think of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, and come to think about it, the Crosset Company has had all three of these Baseball Legends at our Seminar, which is another reason that the Crosset Company Annual Educational Buying food show is AWESOME. His Career Highlights:  All-time hits leader with 4256; games played with 3562; selected to play in 17 All-star games; won 3 World Series; World Series MVP; won 2 Gold Gloves; Led NL in batting 3 times; Led NL in hits 7 times; Rookie of the Year in1963 and MVP in 1973; ranks 1st All-time in games played and at bat and passed the great Ty Cobb with 4192 hit on September 11, 1985; the list goes on and on. I especially liked his story when Pete Jr. called him and told him (Pete Sr.) that he needed some advice because he was 0 for 22 and Pete Sr. told him to call Dave Concepcion; or the fact that A-Rod would text him often.  What I really thought was great was that he could give Derrick Jeter 800 hits and he still couldn’t catch him in hits. I really think Pete was feeling good and comfortable at the show; we actually had to tell his manager to get him off the stage so we could keep everything else we had planned on schedule.  I think he could have still been talking.  Anyway he was great!! Wow! I have to say it, I really do, and this year’s Crosset Company Educational Buying food show was GREAT!   If you missed it, you missed a lot.  See you next year!




PHIL GRUSZKA OWNER–GRUSZKA CONSULTING  – Phil Gruszka was born and raised in Chicago.  He graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana and got his Master’s Degree at Washington University in St. Louis.  He has worked in marketing and sales roles at Anheuser Busch, Ralston Purina, and Sara Lee in the US and Europe.   He was the Vice President of Marketing at Grimmway Farms for 9 years where he handled the activities for all of the products of the company including carrots and organic vegetables.  In 2012 he opened his own consulting business.  The focus of the business is to help produce companies with all of their marketing and sales needs.


TODD LINSKY VICE PRESIDENT OF ORGANIC SALES – CAL-ORGANICS AND GRIMMWAY FARMS  – A 25+ year veteran of the Organic Produce Industry, Mr. Linsky started his produce career as a produce clerk/manager in a local San Diego natural foods store. From there he moved to one of the pioneering natural foods store in Southern California to run the produce departments.  He began his journey in buying and shipping organic produce with S&S produce in Los Angeles. The company created the very first grower/shipper operation for organic produce, Ocean Organic, located in Moss Landing California.  In 1988 Cal-Organic Farms was a part of the Ocean Organic family and Mr. Linsky moved to the farm in Lamont, CA to begin managing and developing a sales program.  Cal-Organic broke away in 1989 from Ocean, and until 2001 ran their own sales company. In May of 2001 Cal-Organic became a part of the Grimmway Family of companies.  At that time, Mr. Linsky was elevated to his current position of V.P. of Organic Sales.  During his career he has been sought after for various industry panels and boards.  He was the first organic industry representative to be appointed by then Secretary of Agriculture, Ann Veneman, to be on the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee. His various other board and committee appointments include:   Wild Oats Vendor Advisory Council— Whole Foods Vendor Council “Structure 250” Team— USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Organic Working Group Chairman) — Organic Trade Association Marketing Committee— CCOF Marketing Committee— Organic Trade Association Board of Directors—Organic Agriculture and Products Education Institute Board of Directors.—OTA-Representative on Organic Center Board of Directors— Produce Electronic Identification Board of Directors—Diversified Business Communication-Advisory Board—National Breast Cancer Foundation—Board Member—PMA Governance Committee— The Organic Center —Chairman/President of the Board of Directors


LAURA BATCHA CEO/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – ORGANIC TRADE ASSOCIATION (OTA) – Laura Batcha serves as the CEO/Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), and has been with the trade association since 2008. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, she became the trade association’s fourth CEO/Executive Director in its 29-year history.  Prior to her latest appointment, she served the Organic Trade association in multiple capacities over the past six years. She was first hired as Marketing and Public Relations Director, became Chief of Policy and External Relations, and subsequently OTA’s Executive Vice President and Interim Co-Executive Director.   A seasoned organic professional, Laura has been directly involved in organic production and handling for over 20 years, and has  more than 10 years of hands-on experience in the private sector of the organic industry. She currently serves as the Chair of OTA’s Political Action Committee. She also has been appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve as a representative of the organic industry on two separate Federal Advisory Committees. The first, AC21, advises USDA on issues related to coexistence of biotechnology and organic and identity-preserved agriculture. The second, APAC, is the agricultural policy advisory committee dedicated to international trade. As CEO/Executive Director of OTA, she also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Organic Center, an independent non-profit research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association.  In addition, Laura has served on the board of the International Working Group for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the board of the Just Label It campaign.  Laura attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and holds a Master’s degree in Management Science from Marlboro College (Marlboro, VT) with an emphasis on new technology applications.  As CEO/Executive Director, Laura oversees and leads staff at OTA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and its Vermont, California, and Oregon offices.


TOM BEDDARD OWNER – LADY MOON FARMS  – With a dream to live in the country, smell the fresh air and see the stars at night, Tom Beddard founded Lady Moon Farms in 1988 with his wife Christine on five acres in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.  A city kid born and raised in Pittsburgh, from an early age, Tom enjoyed gardening in his parent’s back yard and went on to study horticulture at Delaware Valley College.  It was during this time that he started to think differently about conventional agriculture practices.  The question he struggled with was:  “Why put poisons on the food you were going to give your kids to eat?”  He wanted to grow produce that would make people healthy and strong and not harm his children or the planet.  Lady Moon Farms was a founding member of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) with Christine acting as the founding secretary and Tom was the founding President of Pennsylvania Certified Organic (POC).  Both organizations were leaders in the young, burgeoning organic agriculture movement in the US and continue in that role today.  Lady Moon Farms is known for its ethically and socially just practices providing year-round employment and fair wages.  Lady Moon Farms is now one of the premiere organic vegetable growers in the country with over 2400 acres and more than 200 full time employees providing produce year round with farms in Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania and all the while remaining ever fanatical about freshness!




Rose played both baseball and football at Western Hills High School. He was small for his age but earned the starting running back position on his freshman football team. When he was not promoted to the varsity football team in his sophomore year, Rose was dejected and lost interest in his studies. At the end of the school year, Rose’s teachers decreed that he would have to attend summer school or be held back. Harry Rose decided that it would be better for Pete to repeat a year of school than miss a summer playing baseball. Plus, it would give Pete an extra year to mature physically. When Pete reached his senior year, he had already used up his four years of sports eligibility, so in the Spring of 1960, he joined the Class AA team sponsored by Frisch’s Big Boy of Lebanon, Ohio in the Dayton Amateur League. He played catcher, second base and shortstop and compiled a .626 batting average. This would have been the pinnacle of Rose’s baseball career if not for the help of his uncle Buddy Bloebaum.  Bloebaum was a bird dog scout for the Reds and he pleaded the case for his nephew. The Reds, who had recently traded away a number of prospects, who turned out to be very good, decided to take a chance on Pete. Upon his graduation from high school, Rose signed a professional contract.   Records and achievements Major League records Most career hits – 4,256 Most career outs – 10,328 Most career games played – 3,562 Most career at bats – 14,053 Most career singles – 3,215 Most career runs by a switch hitter – 2,165 Most career doubles by a switch hitter – 746 Most career walks by a switch hitter – 1,566 Most career total bases by a switch hitter – 5,752 Most seasons of 200 or more hits – 10 Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits – 23 Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats – 13 (1968-1980) Most seasons with 600 at bats – 17 Most seasons with 150 or more games played – 17 Most seasons with 100 or more games played – 23 Record for playing in the most winning games – 1,972 Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions – 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595) National League records: Most years played – 24 Most consecutive years played – 24 Most career runs – 2,165 Most career doubles – 746 Most career games with 5 or more hits – 10 Modern (post-1900) record for longest consecutive game hitting streak – 44 Modern record for most consecutive hitting streaks of 20 or more games – 7 NL MVP Award (1973) NL Rookie of the Year Award (1963) 17 All-Star selections Three World Series rings (1975, 1976, 1980) World Series MVP Award (1975) Two Gold Glove Awards (1969 and 1970, both as an outfielder) Roberto Clemente Award (1976) The Sporting News Player of the Year (1968) The Sporting News Sportsman of the Year (1985) The Sporting News Player of the Decade (1970s)
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