15th Annual People’s Awards

Deli Business honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to the industry, their company and their community

David
Sonzogni 

Vice President,
Deli/Prepared Foods, 
Albertsons, Boise, ID

Q.  How has your career evolved over the years?

A. I’ve worked in the foodservice industry for over 40 years. My career has evolved in unique ways dictated often times by both the market and consumer demands. I’ve had the privilege to be a part of some of the more innovative features in the grocery industry. I’ve never stopped learning and take influential cultures from around the world and integrate them in multiple departments. More recently, I’ve been able to collaborate with an awesome team here at Albertsons and bring to life the new Market Street concept. This has been a pinnacle of both timely innovation and a new demand in the modern consumer.

 Q. What positions have you held in industry associations?

A. Member/Board Member: 

International Chefs Association – American Culinary Foundation (ICA-ACF), Texas Chapter


ICA-ACF, New York City Chapter

International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)

American Culinary Federation (ACF)- Idaho, New York, and Texas

NY Culinary Olympics Team Coordinator, Big Apple Chapter, Frankfurt 1992 

Q. What is your leadership philosophy?


A. I tend to have more of a democratic management style and philosophy. I prefer involving my team and coming to a data driven conclusion with valuable input from all members. At the end of the day, I am responsible for the successes and new learning opportunities of my team. I’ve been known for thinking outside of the box. I have a Plan A and Plan B. I’m never satisfied or complacent. The minute I accomplish a goal, I’m on to something else and looking at what’s next.

Q. What deli retail trends have impacted the industry most over the last year?

A. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. It’s all about the approach, although it can take longer for certain items to take off. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods are still strong, with influences integrated into sauces, salads, hot foods and other items. We’re now seeing things like gyros, sushi tacos and Hawaiian poke bowls in today’s delis. The offerings are constantly changing, and it’s extremely exciting. It’s a melting pot here, and people are embracing new flavors nowadays and expanding their horizons. This has opened up so many doors for food to go into so many different directions.

Q. What technology or technical tools are indispensable to you in the workplace and why?

A. Every day, technology gets better, with online ordering apps, management and inventory tools, tablets, tableside ordering systems and kiosks. This makes the deli customer experience more comfortable and an easier transition from point A to B. It really helps smooth the operational flow.

Q. What have been the biggest changes in the deli industry over the course of your career?

A. Delis of the past were very simple. Now to look at the transformation over the last 20 years, it has become a beautiful evolution of international food hubs. It’s an emotional attachment when you walk into these environments, like the one built with the new Albertsons Market Street. Instead of a traditional deli case, these departments are likely to include elaborate food pods with wood-burning ovens, fresh Mozzarella stations, taco and gyro counters, smokers in kitchens cooking brisket for hours, custom international salad bars and bespoke grab-and-go meals. It’s taking food to a whole new level. It has become more about the customer experience when making a food decision.

Q. Are you married? If so, how long? How many children?A. I am happily married for 35 years and have a son and daughter.

Feature

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Cover Story

Food Safety 101

Lisa White Consider this: according to a study by the Atlanta-based U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six delis had a refrigerator that was too warm; one in four delis had […]

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