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Not a lot of time for email this morning, but I did want to answer this one, from an MNB reader, following up on our discussion of iconic Irish retailer Feargal Quinn.

(The discussion has been prompted by Feargal's new memoir, "Quinntessential Feargal," which I reviewed on Monday and is now available on

Over the years you have met many people in the food industry here in the USA. Who might you consider to be an American equal to Mr. Quinn? I know as a young man, Mr. Quinn’s name was used prominently by our senior executives as one of the finest men they had ever met.

I hesitate a bit on this, simply because if I name one person I leave a lot of other people out. But .. there's one name that immediately comes to mind as being equal to Feargal Quinn. He runs a smaller company, with a somewhat more upscale approach to fresh foods. But in terms of marketing savvy (especially an early and sophisticated understanding of loyalty marketing), good taste in food and drink, an appreciation of the importance of great people in his stores, and a basic and essential human decency, this person stands out and above pretty much everybody in the industry.

Norman Mayne, of Dorothy Lane Markets in Dayton, Ohio.

And here's the deal. I've just ignored a lot of great people ... and pretty much all of them would agree with me about Norman Mayne. That says a lot.

(I hope Norman writes his memoir someday. Can't wait to read it. And if he's hesitating, I'd also be willing to ghostwrite it.)
KC's View: