PROFILE

Tony Orlando

Owner, Tony O's Supermarket and Catering

Born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, Tony Orlando has 50 years in the food business, having started at four years of age in 1961.

Tony purchased his store in May of 1999 from his father. Through the years, he has acquired extensive knowledge of meat and deli departments. He has consulted with other independents to help their businesses grow.

Tony has served on many Midwest beef councils and also was on the Young Executives Council for the NGA, of which he is a charter member.

Tony graduated from Ohio State University in 1978 with a Bachelors in Business Administration. He is married to wife Maria and has two sons, Michael (19) and Stephen (16). Tony is also the President of the Autistic Children’s Foundation. He loves golfing, casinos and talking shop at NGA.

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  • Posted on: 01/16/2020

    Did Trump’s phase one deal with China deliver the goods for retailers?

    I know I am in the minority on this panel, but this is a first step on a longer time table to level this awful playing field, and it will get better. China has had the upper hand for years, and that is starting to change, which is about time. More work needs to be done, and a lot of good stuff on trade has already gotten done, and my 401K is heading in the right direction. Made in America means a lot to me, and more goods being made here is never a bad thing.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2020

    Will Walmart become a fashion destination in 2020?

    This may work for the younger less affluent generation, but my wife and many of her friends would never buy a thing from Walmart as far as clothing for themselves goes, and with the deals Macy's, Dillards and others all the time, there is little chance to think about buying anything fashionable at Walmart. Pajamas for little kids, a quick t-shirt for my son, or some socks is a about it. Target has a better selection for the value consumers, and T.J.Maxx as well.
  • Posted on: 01/15/2020

    Is Amazon more friend or foe for digital start-ups?

    Working with Amazon can be good initially, but like others have pointed out Amazon can simply create their own version of products and push the original to the back pages of their platform. Walmart has done the same for years in Sam's Club by recreating their own version of a successful gadget or new cleaner, and making a Member's Mark label with even lower price points. These monster retailers control the CPG companies, and there isn't much we as small business start ups can do to grow significantly before a knockoff is created to cut into your sales. That is the caveat for start-up businesses. Find a way to make your own online experience work for your customers and, if successful, the start up wins, which is a good thing.
  • Posted on: 01/06/2020

    Did Domino’s gouge Time Square revelers?

    Good point, Richard. The hurricane situation is a big problem, and for those retailers who jacked their prices up on essentials like water, Karma will make sure they get their punishment in some way, as this is something people of good character should never do. The pizza incident is what it is, and you could always say no as there was no crisis to get a Domino's pizza and if they were willing to pay, so be it. And the folks delivering these pizzas most likely were under duress just to get the job done, with the crazies in the crowd. By the way Mayor, you should be ashamed of yourself for not putting up some nice Porta Potties for these folks, as that is something essential they need -- not the pizzas.
  • Posted on: 01/02/2020

    Are return rates out of control?

    As I read the comments, everyone agrees, and it is out of control with no solutions anywhere to be found. Our consumers are beyond spoiled, and there are a lot of folks who are scamming the return policies knowing if they scream loud enough, they will get their money back no matter how much damage they did to the product, or worse, used it for a weekend i.e. cameras, small appliances, clothing and shoes, and on and on. If this trend continues, profits will continue to slide, especially for the much smaller online folks who are forced to be like Amazon or Walmart just to stay in the game. As Main Street businesses continue to struggle in many rural areas the same thing is happening online as well, and a shake out of niche suppliers online will have to decide if it is worth the effort to continue on. The big boys are watching closely to snap up their customers when they get out of this difficult platform of online selling. It's not easy in brick and mortar anymore and online is becoming a minefield as well, because the consumers aren't going to back out of making returns thanks to cushy return policies anytime soon. Either way, happy New Year.
  • Posted on: 12/20/2019

    Shoplifting gets wild and goes viral

    The policy of these stores is to not stop them. The crooks know the policy, and they could care less about getting caught, as nothing happens to these bums. The Wild West favors the criminals, and it is pathetic to see how bad it has gotten. This will not end well, and I hope no employees are harmed from these gangs of thieves.
  • Posted on: 12/11/2019

    One of the best Christmas commercials ever cost almost nothing to make

    Best commercial in my mind I've seen in many years. That little boy was me when I was four years old cleaning shelves and helping customers. Boy things certainly have changed over the years, and I'm grateful to have grown up working beside my dad, and my mom as well. Fifty-eight years later it still makes me smile to think how special it was to be in a family business and learn the real life skills all of us need in life, not just business. Thanks for sharing this, and I will forward this to my friends today.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Is ‘OK Boomer’ a merchandising opportunity?

    Wow, another whiny moment from our youngsters who feel they have been screwed by my generation. There has never been a better time to find meaningful work, and yet they think they are oppressed. If you want to sell these shirts, good for you, as it actually shows some ambition, which is required to achieve a good life. We have a society of hurt feelings over everything. I say quit blaming others for your failures in life, as all of us have struggled in our lives. My son with autism works five days a week, and is grateful for the opportunity to have a job where people work together and treat him with respect. Sell all the shirts with any slogan you want but remember, we have been in your shoes, and I'm glad my parents raised me properly, always reminding my siblings that nothing is handed to us and to respect your elders. Thank the greatest generation ever, as we just past Veterans Day. If you see a vet, shake their hand and buy them lunch. Have a sit down with them and yes, you will learn some valuable advice.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2019

    Survey says consumers want online orders shipped fast and free

    Of course consumers want "free" everything, and they want it yesterday. Was this survey a surprise? Consumers today believe Free shipping is part of the online transaction, with no clue on how much it actually costs, and they want free returns with zero hassles, and same-day or one-hour delivery windows on everything they buy. For those who think this is how it should be, fine -- but the cost of delivery has to be built into the transaction, or no one will make a profit. In the grocery business, I could not operate under these new mandates for delivery and would be broke in six months. There are no third-party delivery services anywhere within 50 miles of us, as I looked into it. So for now, Walmart and Amazon keep on winning in the rural small towns.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2019

    Are retailers out-of-step with consumers when it comes to price?

    Price is a major factor or Walmart wouldn’t be where they are. In spite of sketchy service, long lines, and no extra cashiers available, it is the number one retailer in the USA. Add in Amazon, Costco, Dollar Stores, and Aldi, and you have to really stand out in your business or you will perish. High-end service type stores are aware of value, and no longer can they command the high margins they once had either. The trend to find a deal with free delivery is the new norm, which squeezes bottom lines even lower. Creating niches and signature items can generate sales and it is crucial to stay creative, and find unique items to boost the bottom line. I live this every day, and price is on everyone’s mind who shops.
  • Posted on: 10/30/2019

    Will free deliveries for Prime members make Amazon the driving force in online grocery?

    Have you seen the meat prices for Amazon delivery? They are incredibly high, which is fine with me and other supermarkets. Free is the most abused word in e-commerce, and if folks are willing to pony up twice the cost to get fresh meats, good for them. Fresh meats will be a niche item for them at best.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2019

    Is e-grocery less convenient than shopping in stores?

    Perishables, specialty items, and even some wine offerings will always do well in supermarkets who cater to their customers, with gourmet delis, choice or prime meats from a real live butcher, specialty foods, and someone who knows how to pick a great bottle of wine for that special dinner. Add in some great baked goods and you have a sustainable business model, especially in areas that are dying for these types of stores. That is the reason I'm still here, as grocery staples you can find everywhere or get delivered to your homes.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2019

    Will debt-free college make Chipotle the place to work in the restaurant biz?

    That is a great way to keep these new employees engaged, and after graduation they can move up the ladder to management. It is a good move.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2019

    Amazon makes its social positions public

    I respectfully disagree, and leave it at that.
  • Posted on: 10/15/2019

    Why are grocers still missing the mark with small food brands?

    It comes down to cost in my area, and that is the hardest part of moving this product. Many folks here are poor and can not afford any of these "healthy" alternatives. The few that do still want a great deal on them. I seek out healthy options in restaurants when I travel and even today, the selection is very limited -- even in cities with money. I'm all for this kind of really good stuff and occasionally I bring in some great deals on it, but the success is limited.

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