First Vistar Northeast Mega Exhibition Draws Crowds To Atlantic City

Posted On: 10/21/2019

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From left, Sammy Arrowood and Joe Urbunek, SC Commission for the Blind/RSA (Columbia, SC) get the latest on Tyson Foods’ Hillshire Farms Small Plates from Tyson’s Chris Allayyar. NABM offered a “Mini-BLAST” business program at the Vistar show.
Sharon Forniciari (left) and Karen Waters of Lady May Sweets show off their Gourmet Gummy Teddies at the Vistar show. Line includes Gourmet and Gourmet Vegan products; the vegan ones contain no gelatin.
Lou Pace Jr. (left), Quality Brokerage and Daniel Krenkel, Herr Foods Inc., describe latest snacks including Jalapeño Poppers, Go Lite! Popcorn, Popped Chips, honey BBQ and Baby Back Ribs-flavored potato chips.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ -- Vistar’s newly formed Northeast division brought together operators and suppliers from all segments of the vending, micromarket and OCS industry for its first-ever mega Buying Show here at Harrah’s Resort & Casino on Sept. 26 and 27.

Vistar, a division of Performance Food Group and the nation’s largest product distributor to the vending trade, announced in January that it had combined its New England, New York, Ohio and mid-Atlantic teams to form Vistar Northeast.

The mega Atlantic City Buying Show  featured 180 exhibitors showcasing the latest products for vending, office coffee service and micromarkets, with supplier representatives presiding at each booth. The more than 1,200 industry professionals from some 325 vending and OCS  operating companies who attended enjoyed discounted pricing on 1,600-plus products.

The National Association of Blind Merchants held its first-ever “Mini” BLAST (Business Leadership and Superior Training) educational conference in partnership with the Vistar Northeast’s Buying Show, bringing 200 blind entrepreneurs to the collocated event. Vending Times will soon have a full report on the BLAST conference online at

“It was a one-of-a-kind buying show – a unique experience unlike any tradeshow or industry conference anyone has ever attended,” said Vistar Northeast region sales manager Mike Mullin (Swedesboro, NJ). “Vistar’s proprietary application provides a platform that allows suppliers to offer discounts on everyday products as well as the hottest new products on the market. Individual operators achieved discounts in the tens of thousands of dollars.”

On Thursday, Sept. 26, prior to Friday’s exhibit, Vistar Northeast welcomed its operator and supplier guests with a lavish poolside cocktail reception and after-party, where an open bar and world-class DJ provided ample opportunity for networking.

Vistar Northeast and its supplier partners work in tandem to provide customer service, support and growth opportunities to the vending industry from Maine to Virginia and from the eastern shore to Lake Erie. Officials said the new combined structure consolidates the strength of its account executives, customer service representatives, merchandising, sales and marketing managers and operations and executive Northeast team members.

Vistar, based in Englewood, CO, is the leading national wholesale distributor in numerous industry segments, including vending/OCS, retail, theater/concessions, hospitality, campus retail, office supply and corrections.

Lawrence Binsky (left), Advantage Food & Beverage (Columbus, OH) and Timothy R. Caroll, White Castle, discuss company’s classic original beef and breakfast-oriented egg and cheese sliders in vend packaging. Vend snacks veteran Paul Schindelar (left) joins Joseph Spinazola, Jr. and Mike Stella (right) to launch Moon Cheese into vending.  The crunchy snack, made entirely of cheese, is offered in five flavors; it’s supplied in 2-oz. packages and shipped in 48-ct. cases. Boxed Water Is Better’s Jack Vaughan and Casey Carlin showcase single-serve purified water, packaged in boxes made of biodegradable, recyclable paper, free of BPAs and phthalates, as alternative to plastic. The paper comes from continually replanted forests.

Jessica File (left) and Olivia Diaz, Aramark (Philadelphia, PA) get the story on La Colombe premium coffees and coffee beverages from Jon Spear, La Colombe. Latest cold brew draft latte made with oatmilk is in the spotlight.