Mark Kassa | Heartland Marketplace/ Slight Return Band
“Auday is a great guy, who listens to suggestions and is very open. AFPD hears people, which is key. If you have a question or suggestion, they listen and try to do something about it.”
Dave Hilderbrand | Sterling One Stop & Sterling Crossing
“ It’s unbelievable what AFPD has been able to do. They’ve done a lot for us but just the CATax alone is the difference between making money and losing money. And now, with what they’re trying to do for us with the cigarette and tobacco tax is another battle we’re fighting to try to keep it down where things are semi-affordable for the normal wiring Joe!”
George Sorisho | Mini Mart Specialty Meats
“I strongly recumbent AFPD to anyone whose business fits the AFPD criteria. They are our eyes and ears in Lansing. They keep us current with laws and legislation. Many rebate programs for members can add up quickly.”
Mike Sarafa | Bank of Michigan
“We have a very strong working relationship and alliance with AFPD. We serve many of the same customers/members, and we’re working very closely together to make sure Money Service Businesses have fair access to financial services.”
Jake Mio | Park Place Fine Wine & Spirits
"I believe in supporting AFPD. I love to read the Bottom Line and find out what’s going on in the industry and what new products are available. The rebate programs are also beneficial.”
Carl Hakim | Market Basket
"Since we had our stores in Detroit, it was the thing to do. All store owners understood the value AFPD brought for a grocery store. Today at Market Basket of Franklin, the Nestle rebate program is great for us. Also, the DTE program is our best saver – we receive free pull-down shields to cover our dairy and produce – it, has helped our refrigeration and, has allowed us to save money on electricity costs.”
Mario Shoman | Hayden Food Plus
“We get better deals thanks to AFPD. We get the rebates with the coupons, and we can send them directly to them instead of sending to each manufacturer. It’s easy to send them to one place, and that is it. That really helps us save a lot of time. They also help us with the Dairymens Milk Company, and we get the special price, too. That is very nice.”
Tracy Stanton | Former gas station owner
"It's important to have oil lobbyists on your side, and AFPD provides that. If you have a problem, there was always something that AFPD could do. They gave us strength in numbers when dealing with oil companies."
Sam Shina | Banner Supermarket
"We take advantage of a lot of the beverage and meat programs AFPD provides. They make us stronger. Without these programs, as a single operator, you have no voice, but when AFPD negotiates for you, now you're a voice of thousands."
Rich Eid | Rich's Mini Mart
"AFPD keeps me informed of all the latest news and updates with the government issues and we get rebates from all the vendors. They keep us up to speed on the latest regulations and keep us informed with just about everything. And if we have any issues we call them and they are right there to answer us right away. That's is what is good about it."
David Fienman | E&L Supermercado
"As a member, we receive better prices on wholesale pricing. AFPD allows me to buy more and sell more product every quarter. I also receive a rebate check from AFPD each quarter."
Terry Burns | Michigan Auto Dealers Association, Executive Director
"There is a need for everyone in a specific industry to work together for a common goal to implement change in the common scheme. It's much easier to do this in a group, as opposed to sitting on the sidelines and allowing one peorson to take the lead while you reap the benefits. It's very important for you to be a part of the group, be a team player, and be a member of that organization – especially in this industry. Membership in the association provides networking opportunities."
Terry Farida | Value Center Market(s)
"AFPD is constantly fighting for retailer rights. They have a voice in Lansing and are there for any questions or peoblems retailers might have."
Frank Ayar | Walters Shopping Place
"It's very important to be part of the industry you serve. AFPD is an important organization, and being part of a great team gives us the voice to fight for what we believe in, and the power to know we are being treated fairly. Unity is strength, and the more members we have, the stronger we become."
Hessam Lahoud | Airport Convenience Food Mart
"AFPD is a good organization, I've been with them for 8 years. They have a lot of programs for many businesses, and we're able to use the coupon program and get discounts from various vendors. Most people who take advantage of the programs end up coming back and using them for different things."
Jacob Garm | Lavish Vodka Cocktail
"My dad has been a member of AFPD for a very long time. All of his stores are members, and it's a great organization. I feel its programs will be very helpful to its members as the organization keeps growing."
Mark Garmo | Village Food Market
"I don't think people take enough advantage of the new programs AFPD offers. The organization is all about the people now, which is different than it was many years ago."
Nash Pattah | Savon Foods Supermarket
"Before, AFPD was all about donations. After Auday (arabo) took over (as President) though, the programs and organization improved tremendously. It's all about helping the people and not just asking your members for donations."
Eirmyas Tesfamariam | Blue Whale (Formerly Morse and Cleveland Shell)
"We have benefited a lot from AFPD, they have helped us out in many ways. We use the coupon program a lot, and we use the insurance program"
Basil Konja | Easy Pick Market
"I had heard a lot of great things about them and decided to get involved. I am glad I did, and I plan to continue supporting them. I think AFPD is an excellent organization. They've not only helped me through their programs, but they've also helped me with some legal issues. These are just some of the reasons why i'll continue supporting them."
Nick Kizi | Family Fair Supermarket
"The programs they have right now with the rebates and the different things you can get from many vendors help us out a lot. We're getting rebates from Sherwood, D&B Grocers, and others; there's quite a few companies we are getting rebates from that we never did before, and we're dealing with them now because of the rebates."
Jim Cicorelli | Frank's Food Mart, Potterville MI
"AFPD is very instrumental in trying to partner with vendors in trying to get better protection on pricing in as many ways as they can."
Johnny Karmo | Market Square, Birmingham MI
"AFPD is a great association; if you need health insurance you can get it from them. They also do a lot of networking and I have found business that I can deal with through them. I suggest that every small business join them. They help more that other associations; joining definitely wouldn't hurt."
Mike George | George Enterprises
"AFPD truly represents its members well. Auday does a magnificent job in following through with all the needs of retailers and having created a highly respected organization, and one of the most active. They are working hard and they they involve their members."
Shirad Thakar | Pro Sam Unlimited, Lodi OH
"We always call AFPD with whatever problems we may have and they always solve it. They work very hard. They always call me and let me know what's going on and what changes are coming, so it's very helpful."
Dennis Pohl | Pohl's MArket, Farwell MI
"The AFPD Bottom Line magazine is a great publication to see whats going on in the industry. We try to keep up with all the trends."
Steve Ali | Xtreme Proformance, Cleveland OH
"AFPD is a great organization - no doubt about it. It's worth every penny. Even if you don't participate in every program that they have - and they have a ton of them - you're going to get your money's worth. It's a great value."
Sam Jabro | Food Town Supermarket MI/OH
"I think AFPD is doing a great job in representing the small retailers that don't have a voice out there. They're always a step ahead working on ventures to bring discounts to retailers and informing them of all the things that are going on in the marketplace."
Haitham Sitto | Sitto Signs
"We would like to continue to grow with AFPD. I can't imagine any business not needing a sign, and AFPD represents businesses. They are an amazing organization and they're good to work with."
John Busch | Busch's Fresh Food Markets
"AFPD is a valuable resource for retail businesses. As a member, we have been kept abreast of government and industry relations that impact our business, both now and in the future. AFPD also serves by answering our questions and educating our team on new regulations and guidelines."
Namir Garmo | Shoppers Valley Market, Wyandotte MI
"AFPD has been there to help us in many ways, They were instrumental in leveling the playing field as a number of gas stations started opening up nearby. Now you have the dollar stores carrying eggs and milk, so it's been a difficult time, but AFPD has been there to help us through all of it. They also provide legal representation for stores that can't afford it, and they keep us informed on what's going on in the industry and what to look for in the future."
Ken Hebert | Coca-Cola
"I look forward to building my relationship with Auday and the other board members and being part of such an important association that gives back to the community we serve."
Clifton Denha | Wine Palace, Livonia MI
"There are a lot of cynics out there that say AFPD doesn't do much for the average member, and I'm here to tell them that they do. I am on the inside, I know what they do. People don't realize what goes on behind the scenes, so I tell a lot of people about the work AFPD is doing and what a fantastic job Auday Arabo is doing as President & CEO."
Earl Ishbia | Sherwood Food Distributors
"I feel that the AFPD organization is a great way to bring together people in the industry for exchnages of ideas and concepts, and it's a great way to meet people through AFPD's various functions and events."
Scott Trudeau | AFPD Foundation scholarship winner
"The scholarship very definitely was welcome. It was of great assistance for geting me through my undergraduate years. It helped me get off to a good start!"
Nabby Yono | ACC
"I still serve with AFPD on the Foundation Board, so I can bring my connections with the outside world to build a better connection with AFPD, and all of those dealings with corporate America in my time with AFPD have helped me in my role today at ACC."
Nick Sulaka | Nick's Chips
"We were able to pick up some stores at the AFPD show in April, and it's just a good thing to be out there with people who are related to our business and for the people to get more familiar with our brand. AFPD has been a great help to market our brand."
Calvin Pattah | Food Pride, Detroit MI
"AFPD helps us have a larger voice in the government as it relates to the food industry. We have connections with many city leaders and hopefully that helps us compete with the big businesses that are moving into Detroit because of tax incentives."
Sam Taha | Mini Mart, Cleveland OH
"According to AFPD we are their biggest member on the Dairymens rebate program. The coupon program is also a big help to us, and the rebate for a preferred wholesaler company makes a big difference to us because, as a small independent store competing with other chains, it puts us on the same level playing field."
Jeff Anusbigian | Westborn Market
“Quite honestly, AFPD does such a fine job meeting our needs. What I love the most is that when we have a question, they are always ready to answer it or get back to us very quickly.”
Thom Lipari | Lipari Foods
“AFPD membership continues to be valuable as a way to stay in tune with the needs of our customers. My father’s big thing was ‘always take care of the customer.’ Membership in a strong association is important because of the strength in numbers it offers to its members.”
Ed Rutowski | Walker Street Pharmacy
Rutowski was happy that Michigan’s bottle bill is on AFPD’s 2013 focus list. “We’ve recycled bottles for so long, it’s worked into our system, but it’s a nightmare I’d rather not deal with,” “I’d love to see it replaced with a recycling program outside the stores.”
Jim Nader | Plumb's Inc.
“I like what AFPD is doing,” “They are very strong in helping the community and working on retailers’ issues."
Clarence Cardwell: IGA Express Stores
Cardwell says the Ohio CAT tax is the biggest issue facing gasoline retailers. “This tax must be moved to the rack to create an even playing field,” “I credit AFPD with working tirelessly to make state government aware of this issue.”
Ron Baxter | Great North Foods
“AFPD sources things we don’t, like insurance, and that gives us an opportunity to present those resources and services to new customers.”
Bill Hillman | HT Hackney
“Taking part in AFPD events like the trade show and annual dinner gives us opportunities to contact both current and potential customers, and most importantly – thank them for their valuable business”.
Gary Gerlach | Orchard Markets
“AFPD is a good organization, very community focused,” “The biggest benefit is the government relations interface. They lobby for all of us and work for our rights on issues like federal and state taxes,” “AFPD was behind the initiative to spread food stamps out across the month, which has been very helpful, and they are working hard on the bottle recycling issue, which is painful and expensive for retailers to maintain. We couldn’t do it alone.”
Ed Bahoura | Save-A-Lot
“AFPD does a really good job at keeping us abreast of big issues for retailers. Item pricing, for example, saved us a ton of money, and AFPD also helped get rid of Michigan’s MBT tax,” “AFPD is truly the voice of our industry!”
Mike Ensing | Van Ball's Prime Beef
“Even though we’re not affected by the meat labeling law because we’re small and everything comes directly from the farmer, we rely on the information AFPD provides and how much they try to help small businesses,” “We appreciate the programs, too, but the way they work to keep us updated and protect us from taxes and regulations is the most important.”
Roger Newberry | Monster Energy
Newberry especially likes working with independent retailers, he says, because that’s where you can build your brand quickly and effectively. “Working through AFPD makes that even more effective, because independents are especially strong in Michigan and Ohio.”
Scott Ellis | Nestle DSD
“First, the AFPD program provides a great link to bringing together Nestle Direct Store Delivery with potential new retailers and customers who would like to sell Nestle frozen food that otherwise we may never have come in contact with. Second, the AFPD program allows Nestle to develop specific promotions for AFPD retailers to help drive business. Best of all, This is accomplished while developing great relationships with both the staff and members of AFPD."
Justin Hiller | Hiller's Markets, MI
“AFPD has been a wonderful resource for Hiller's by ensuring we stay current with industry relevant legislation."
"AFPD has also connected us with other wholesalers outside of our normal channels, helping us to streamline services and goods we offer to consumers."
Jim Wall | Johnson Oil, Gaylord MI
Cindi Quinn-Ventura | DTE Energy Supply
“Our partnership with AFPD has been vey intimate and very beneficial for both of us. It's a true partnership."
"We piggyback on new members, AFPD sells our product, and we sell theirs. There's a lot of team selling there, if you will. I didn't expect that, to be honest. It's quite unusual to have an association work that hard for a supplier."
Elizabeth Kaczan | Waters Edge Market, Kewadin MI
Joe Bellino, Jr. | Broadway Market, Monroe MI
“If we work together as one voice, we are a lot louder than we are alone.”
Pat LaVecchia | Pat's Auto Service, Rocky River OH
John Denha | 8 Mile Foodland, Southfield MI
Paul Elhindi | Lyndhurst Valero, Lyndhurst OH
Al Chittaro | Faygo Beverages, Detroit MI
Bobby Hesano | D&B Grocers Wholesale, Livonia MI
Najib Atisha | Indian Village Market, Detroit MI
Jerry Crete | Ideal Party Store, Bay City MI
Phil Kassa | Hearland Marketplace, Farmington Hills MI
Frank Ayar | Walter's Shopping Place, Hamtramck MI
Jim Garmo | Shoppers Valley Market
Gary Davis | Prairie Farms Dairy, Oak Park MI
Dave Freitag | Yorkshire Tire & Auto, Bellevue OH
Mike Koza | High Pointe Oil, Novi MI
Jim Mandas | Broadway Markey & Cafe, Columbus OH
Bill Michailidis | Delaware Market & Cafe, Delaware OH
Joe Nashar | Grand River & Halstead Shell, Farmington MI
Brian Yaldoo | Hills Fine Wine & Spirits, West Bloomfield MI
Marvin Yono | Alpine Marketplace, Linden MI
Percy Wells, II | Coca-Cola Refreshments, Belleville MI
Harold McGovern | National Wine & Spirits, Brownstown MI
Vickie Hobbs | Whitehall Shell, Columbbus OH
“It’s important to promote AFPD because it is such a wonderful organization for people in our industry to become a part of so they can receive all the benefits that are available to them.”
Jim Hooks | Metro Foodland, Detroit MI
“By increasing membership, AFPD can improve the perception of supermarkets in the area. Metro-Detroit is perceived as a food desert, but we have some of the best supermarkets anywhere.”
Fred Dally | Medicine Chest, Detroit MI
Ronnie Jamil | Bella Vino Wine, Farmington Hills MI
Chris Zebari | Lipari Foods, Warren MI
Sam Shoukri | Showerman's Fine wine & Liquor, Livonia MI
Thomas Welch | Hollywood Super Markets, Troy MI
Clifton Pattah | Food Pride Super Market, Detroit MI
Mike Quinn | Pepsi Beverages, Howell MI
Richard Fiato | North Pointe Insurance Company, Southfield MI