As the Director of Food Service, Tony Tamburro is tasked with finding new products for Heinen’s deli and prepared foods department. Tony has been with Heinen’s for almost 39 years and his vast knowledge helps bring in just the right selection of products. Read on to see how Tony decides what products to introduce in our stores and some new and unique products.
“New products come out all the time. Some come to me through the vendor or manufacturer wanting Heinen’s to carry it, and some I learn about through my own research. I pay close attention to trends in the grocery industry and keep tabs on what other stores are carrying.
I also attend some shows throughout the year, which allows me to see and taste new products, as well as build relationships with our vendors. My favorite show is the American Cheese Society Conference. This conference features small artisan cheese makers, and I get to spend a lot of time with these cheese makers, learning about their processes and all the unique characteristics of new cheeses I may consider bringing to Heinen’s.
Earlier in my career here at Heinen’s, I worked closely with Tom Heinen and he really helped me learn and understand Heinen’s philosophy. It’s all about the eating experience of our customers. When we bring in a new item, we want the customer to try it and say, “Wow, that was really good.”
Taste is the number one reason to bring in a new item, but it’s also very important to us to know where our products are coming from and have a good relationship with the manufacturers. We also like having unique items that you can only find at Heinen’s.
Two Brothers Deli Cheese
We’ve recently introduced Two Brothers deli cheeses, and if you haven’t had a chance to try any of the new cheeses, stop by the deli and ask our associates for a sample. Our delicious new cheeses are made under the guidance of master cheese makers with traditional artisan methods. These award-winning cheeses are crafted by cheese makers with more than 75 years of experience. They complement our Two Brothers deli meat perfectly!
Heinen’s Pasta Sauce and Gravy
We also just introduced Heinen’s pasta sauces and gravies. These are our own recipes, and the same sauces and gravies we use on our prepared foods. If you enjoy our prepared food selection, you’ll want to pick some up for your own homemade cooking. You can find them in the deli refrigerated cases. Our pasta sauces include pesto, meat sauce, classic red sauce and alfredo sauce, and beef and chicken gravy.
A cool new product at Heinen’s is Fermin Iberico charcuterie products. Create the perfect charcuterie plate of Iberico meats, cheese, olives, fruit and nuts, and invite your friends over to enjoy with a bottle of wine! Iberico pigs have a natural diet of mostly acorns and wild herbs, and their meat is liberally marbled. These are really spectacular.
One of the many things that sets Heinen’s apart is our prepared foods. All of the associates in the prepared food department really know the products and can answer any questions you have. You don’t get that kind of knowledge everywhere. Our best sellers are chicken romano, nut-crusted tilapia, baked salmon with Two Brothers seasoning and sun-dried tomato chicken breast, but my personal favorite are the authentic crab cakes. With everyone so busy, it’s great to be able to pick up a delicious and homemade dinner that’s quick and easy to heat up. Who doesn’t love that?”