News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE:
 April 16, 2008
CONTACT: Katie McKenna
kmckenna@topsmarkets.com

   
TOPS MARKETS PARTNERS WITH WNY HYDROPONIC GROWER TO SELL BIO-FRIENDLY TOMATOES
Williamsville, NY –Tops Friendly Markets has partnered with H2Gro Greenhouses, LLC, an affiliate of Modern Corporation, located in Youngstown, NY and will begin to sell hydroponically grown, on-the-vine tomatoes in all Tops stores beginning April 16.

Since the sale of Tops Markets to Morgan Stanley Private Equity was announced last December, partnering with more local farms and vendors has been an important part of Tops’ plan to re-establish themselves as a locally operated company. H2Gro not only fits that local bill, but their eco-friendly and bio-friendly growing method is another quality that attracted Tops Markets to the local greenhouse.

“When you take pesticides, herbicides and artificial ripening methods out of the equation, the end product is simply a great tasting tomato,” said Rick Wright, produce marketing manager at Tops Markets.

The tomatoes are grown in H2Gro’s 7.5 acre computer-controlled, hydroponic greenhouse, which is heated by using special heat recovery equipment surrounding seven electrical generators at neighboring Innovative Energy. These generators are powered by collected Methane gas released from Modern landfill. H2Gro also recycles its irrigation water using a special UV sterilizer before delivering it back to the plants.

“We are thrilled to partner with Tops by providing them with H2Gro's environmentally-friendly tomatoes,” said Gary Smith, CEO of Modern Corporation. “We salute the leadership of Tops for continuing to support local growers.”

With agribusiness representing one of their key, targeted industries, officials at Buffalo Niagara Enterprise were pleased to help create the relationship between Tops and H2Gro as part of their efforts to enhance the development of the renewable resources component of that cluster.

“Western New York is one of the top food and food processing centers in the nation,” said Tom Kucharski, President and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise. “With H2Gro producing over 3.3 million pounds of tomatoes just last year, and Tops Markets, the area’s largest grocery chain interested in selling more local, eco-friendly products – it was a natural fit. This is an example of the multiplier effect we knew would exist with the re-location of Tops headquarters back to our region.”

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 71 full-service supermarkets and five franchise supermarkets. With over 10,000 associates, Tops is the leading full-service grocery retailer in Western New York, Central New York, including Rochester, and Northwestern Pennsylvania. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's Web site at www.topsmarkets.com.

 

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