Food Industry Finest Luncheon


BIRMINGHAM, AL— The Alabama Grocers Association held their annual Food Industry Finest Luncheon on Wednesday, October 23 honoring their Industry Award winners.

Speakers included Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth

and Dr. Bruce Bright, On Target Leading.

The food retail industry in Alabama provides over 70,000 jobs with over $2.2 billion in annual wages paid.  Grocers pay over $1.2 billion in state taxes and have a total economic impact on the state’s economy of over $12 billion.

More than 150 people attended the event at The Club to discuss the work of the Alabama Grocers Association in 2019 and those in the food, beverage and grocery profession here in Alabama.


“Each of these fine individuals exemplify leadership and excellence Alabama’s grocery industry.  They are committed to growing and improving the grocery industry in Alabama,” said Ellie Taylor, President Alabama Grocers Association.  “We are thankful for the opportunity to honor them and their commitment today.”

The Retailer of the Year Award was presented to Andy Virciglio of Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets Birmingham.

“It has been an honor for our family business to be a part of this community for three generations,” said Andy Virciglio, Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets. “Our employees are focused on providing outstanding service to our customers every day.”

If you would like to see a video of Retailer of the Year, please click here.

The Wholesaler of the Year Award was given to Ken Miller of Associated Grocers of the South.

“Our team is strong, and we have worked hard to grow our business and be competitive,” said Ken Miller, Associated Grocers of the South. “This award is a reflection of our goal to provide our members with the lowest cost of goods that enables them to increase both their sales and profits.”

The Vendor of the Year award recipient was Paul Burnett, Byars | Wright.

“We believe in supporting the needs of Alabama Grocers, they are the foundation of our communities,” said Paul Burnett, Byars | Wright. “Our team considers it an honor to support and work along side these dedicated businesses.”

If you would like to see the Video of Vendor of the Year, Click Here.

In addition, Greg Ferrara, President, National Grocers Association presented the prestigious Spirit of America Award to David Mitchell, Mitchell Grocery Corporation for his active and effective participation in government affairs and as a strong and effective advocate for the independent food distribution industry in Alabama and across the Nation.

To view all the photos from this event, visit the AGA’s Facebook Page.