Photo Friday: Congressional Happenings on the West Coast with Northgate Gonzalez Market Apr 28, 2017 By: Cynthia Brazzel, director of member relations & advocacy in the western region, and Rob Rosado, senior director of food & health policy, Food Marketing Institute The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) helped Northgate Gonzalez Market host Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA) on April 13 at store #24 in Norwalk, CA, where they showcased the mercado concept and talked through some of the more pressing issues impacting the supermarket industry, such as FDA menu labeling, “swipe” fees, and WIC licensing. Northgate Gonzalez CEO and Co-President, Oscar Gonzalez; Wellness Program Manager, Teresa Blanco; Chief Compliance Officer, Mehdi Moussavi; Director of Prepared Foods, Maunel Gonzalez, and District Director, Martin Chavoya were all on-hand to demonstrate the company’s commitment to customer and community service. FMI’s Senior Director of Food & Health Policy Rob Rosado, and Director of Member Relations & Advocacy in the Western Region, Cynthia Brazzel, helped arrange the visit and issues to cover. Northgate Gonzalez’ festive format brings the customer into an atmosphere reminiscent of food stalls or boutiques featuring such Mexican favorites as a tortilleria offering fresh and warm corn and flour tortillas and freshly toasted chips, a ceviche bar with about 8 different styles of this raw fish delicacy, a juice bar with traditional licuadas and aguas frescas, along with a made-to-order guacamole kiosk, fresh salsas, and an array of tamales all prepared in-house. The Mercado boasts an impressive array of meats, poultry and seafood, including those typical of Mexician cuisine such as lengua (beef tongue) and tripa (for menudo). The bakery offers all manner of sweets, most notably pan dulce, the traditional pastries enjoyed by all. Teresa Blanco, wellness program manager for Northgate Gonzalez, shared the important and diverse ways they serve their customers, such as senior health clinics, low-income mobile mammogram screenings, and the only supermarket with bilingual nutrition shelf tags.* It was a great opportunity to show a lawmaker how committed and active this industry is to educating and influencing the health of the customer. Arranging and supporting a store visit from a Member of Congress is an FMI service that we can bring to showcase your company initiatives and add value to your community outreach without disrupting your operations . Contact Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy office & senior vice president, government relations, Food Marketing Institute, and let our government relations team do the work for you.