Tracking Latin-American Influence on Food and Food Retail

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This Episode is Sponsored By: City National Bank

The Latin population in the U.S. is growing, and the influence of Latin cuisine is gaining prominence alongside it. How does this impact the U.S. food and food retail sectors as a whole? Aurora Grocery‘s Omar Jorge and City National Bank‘s Eric Viergutz help break down this dynamic and discuss the different cohorts who are gravitating towards Latin cuisine.

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More About Omar Jorge:
Omar G. Jorge Peña is the CEO of Compare Foods in Charlotte and Chairman of Aurora Grocery Group, which operates thirty-seven supermarkets under the Compare Foods, Gala Foods, and GalaFresh Supermarkets banners throughout the East Coast of the United States.

Founded in 1989 by the Peña family, Compare Foods is the largest ethnic supermarket chain on the East Coast, with stores from Massachusetts to North Carolina.  Omar is a second-generation grocer, working in the family business beginning in his teenage years. In 2009, Omar relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina to manage the Compare Foods stores in the region. In 2012, together with his family, Omar led the creation and was named Chairman of a new entity, Aurora Grocery Group (AGG). Today, AGG manages 37 supermarkets under the Gala Foods, Compare Foods, and GalaFresh Supermarkets banners.

Omar also serves as the primary owner and CEO of the Compare Foods supermarkets in Charlotte. There are currently seven Compare Foods supermarkets in Charlotte, with the eighth supermarket scheduled to open in 2023. Compare Foods employs more than 550 Charlotte residents. The stores are located in some of Charlotte’s most economically disadvantaged communities and provide much needed fresh meats, produce, and healthy food options to city neighborhoods that would otherwise be food deserts.

Learn more about Aurora Grocery Group: https://auroragrocery.com/
Learn more about Gala Foods and GalaFresh Supermarkets: https://galasupermarkets.com/
Learn more about Compare Foods: https://www.shopcomparefoods.com/

More About Eric Viergutz:
Eric Viergutz is a managing director with City National Bank’s Food & Beverage Group. Based in Atlanta, GA he supports food and beverage executives with a variety of financing solutions and industry intelligence. Working with City National’s team of experts, he provides the bank’s full range of financial solutions to food and beverage businesses nationwide.

Mr. Viergutz has more than 10 years of financial services and business advisory experience and has also served in various corporate finance and strategy roles over his career. Prior to City National, he served as senior vice president for Truist Securities’ Food and Beverage Investment Banking team.

Mr. Viergutz earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Florida and his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Active in the community, he spends time coaching youth basketball and volunteering with Youth About Business and United Way of Atlanta.

About City National Bank:
With $96 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 69 branches, including 21 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Miami.* In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $98 billion in client investment assets.

City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of the world’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 17 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 27 other countries.

For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.

*City National Bank does business in Miami and the state of Florida as CN Bank.