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Celebrating the 29th of February!

2020 is a Leap Year, and tomorrow, February 29th, is known as Leap Day, that special, extra day in our planet’s annual voyage around the sun that occurs every four years. The Cuyahoga Group is celebrating February 29th because even though we’re a premiere VendingMarket, Office Coffee ServiceMobile Dining and Catering company that is family-and-veteran-owned and operated with over 31 years of experience in bringing nourishing, delicious, quality meal, snack, coffee and beverage options onsite to our workplace customers in a three-state area—we’re also astronomical mathematicians at heart, and we think it’s pretty cool.  

Why do we have Leap Years? It’s all about serious calculation, including a possible mathematical miscalculation from eons ago. Here’s the short answer: Leap Years are necessary to keep the calendar aligned with the astronomical seasons. 

Swirled in folklore, February 29th is also known as a day of luck, changing weather, and the day when it was “permissible” for women to make marriage proposals. We’ve evolved since then, (mostly) as women now have equal rights and are free to make marriage proposals on any day they want, but that’s beside the point. 

The coolest thing about February 29th? It’s an extra 24 hours, and a good reminder to make everyday matter. 

On Leap Day and all days, make your Workplace Food and Beverage Choices Matter! 

For 31 years, The Cuyahoga Group has delivered the best in Vending, Micro-MarketsMobile Dining, Office Coffee and Catering services.  We provide meal, snack, coffee and beverage choices that your employees need to reenergize throughout the workday, without the inconvenience or expense of leaving the premises. To contact us, click here or call us at 800-901-8363.   

Cuyahoga Group Employee Spotlight:   Angela Bogan

Cuyahoga Group Team Member Angela Bogan has been selected as our Employee Spotlight for February, 2020. 

In April, Angela will celebrate 20 years with The Cuyahoga Group.  For nearly two decades, her commitment and service  to her role as Vending Attendant out of our North Ridgeville Branch has raised the bar on service and team work. Self-motivated and reliable, Angela’s strong work ethic, positive outlook, attention to detail and willingness to always go that extra mile, has created an invaluable example for other team members to follow. 

Congratulations to Angela Bogan on her upcoming 20th Anniversary with The Cuyahoga Group!We appreciate all that you do, and we are grateful that you are part of our team!  

What is your role with The Cuyahoga Group? 
Angela:Vending Attendant.  

What do you like most about your job, and why?   
Angela: I like visiting different locations and not having to stay in one place all day long.  

Tell us a fun fact, or facts, about yourself:  
Angela: I make birthday cakes, wedding cakes, cupcakes and treats for special occasions. It’s something creative that I really enjoy.  

What is your favorite kind of food or meal?   
Angela:My favorite food is Italian.  

What kind of music do you like? Do you have a favorite band or singer?   
Angela: I love Country Music, but I also enjoy many other types of music.  

What is your favorite movie, TV show or book? 
Angela:  My favorite TV show is Friends.   

Please share with us a goal you’d like to accomplish someday: 
Angela My goal is to travel to Italy someday.  

Thank You, Angela, for participating in The Cuyahoga Group Employee Spotlight, and Congratulations on your upcoming 20th Anniversary with The Cuyahoga Group! 

Peace, Love & Pizza

Any way you slice it and any way you like it, most of us agree that pizza is a little slice of heaven. February 9th is National Pizza Day and The Cuyahoga Group celebrates the versatile, delicious pizza pie—one of the most affordable, popular, and endearing foods in America.  

It starts with baked crust, savory cheese and tomato sauce, then the fun begins: limitless toppings. Whether vegan or carnivore, there’s a pizza for all tastes. From a simple cheese pizza to a pie crowned with a kaleidoscope of toppings, our pizza preferences are as varied as we are.  

It all began a long, long time ago in 18th century Naples, Italy, when pizza was first created as an inexpensive staple for the working class. A century later, the King and Queen of Italy visited Naples and discovered pizza. They were so impressed that when they returned to Rome, they summoned their chef to make pizza every Friday night, and the news spread throughout the land. Pizza become popular in the U.S. during the 1940’s, when Italian immigrants brought their many culinary treasures, including pizza, to their new homeland. To read more about the history of pizza, click here. 

We bring the joy of Pizza to your workplace! 

The Cuyahoga Group, has 31 years of experience and expertise in bringing affordable and quick access to a variety of delicious meals, snacks, beverages, coffee and healthier options to help your employees stay energized and happy throughout their workday—without the cost or hassle of leaving the building.  

We bring homemade and favorite pizza brand options for our Market, Dining, and Catering customers, including a variety of options in our Vending, and Office Coffee services. Feeling like a slice of pizza? It’s as easy as a walk to your workplace breakroom.   

To contact us, click here or call us at 800-901-8363. 

Cuyahoga Group Employee Spotlight: Ken Hrabnicky  

Cuyahoga Group Team Member Ken Hrabnicky has been selected as our February 2020  Employee Spotlight.

For the past 22 years, Ken’s contribution and service  to The Cuyahoga Group has spanned all levels of operations, including MarketsVending and OCS (Office Coffee Services). Ken learned the intricacies of the vending industry from the ground up, beginning with his first role as part-time Warehouse employee while he was still in school.  He was then promoted to RouteDelivery Driver, then Route Supervisor. His promotion to Branch Manager soon followed, and last year, he was promoted to Vice President of Operations. Ken’s dedication and service to The Cuyahoga Group is defined by a strong work ethic, willingness to learn and grow with the company, ability to lead others and help team members whenever needed, and his consistent willingness to always go above and beyond the call of duty.  Congratulations to Ken Hrabnicky on his 22 years with The Cuyahoga Group!We are grateful that you are part of our team!  

What is your current role with The Cuyahoga Group, and what past roles have you held? 
Ken:I have been with TCG for 22 years—my current role is VP of Operations.  Jim Variglotti (founder and CEO of The Cuyahoga Group) hired me 22 years to work part-time in the warehouse, while I attended school.  Over the past two decades, I’ve worked in many different company divisions and locations. After about a year of working in the warehouse where I pulled route driver orders in the afternoon, I started working as a Route Driver. After that, I became a Route Supervisor for a couple of years.  From there, Jim promoted me to Branch Manager in Wooster.  At that time, I met Jerry Ritch, (Customer Service Manager) who became a true mentor and really took the time to teach me the industry.  After Wooster, I became the Branch Manager in Mansfield, then North Ridgeville.   

What do you like most about your job, and why?   

Ken: I love the people I work with every day! Our employees make it easy to come to work every day, and the top-notch service they provide to our customers is very rewarding.  The Variglotti family has been great to me. They have given me the opportunity to advance my career and pushed me to become the best I can be.  

Tell us a fun fact, or facts, about yourself:  
Ken: I like being outdoors in the summer, playing golf, spending time on Lake Erie.  I would like to set aside more time for fishing this summer. 

What is your favorite kind of food or meal?   
Ken:Chicken Paprikash is my favorite. My mom makes it every year for my birthday. 

What kind of music do you like? Do you have a favorite band or singer?   
Ken: I don’t have a favorite, I love all music and I’ll listen to anything. I’d like to attend more concerts with my wife. 

What is your favorite movie, TV show or book? 
Ken:  It’s tough to designate a favorite movie. I’d include any of the Jason Bourne movies, and I always watch Shawshank Redemption when it’s on.  

Please share with us a goal you’d like to accomplish someday: 
Ken: Travel more: I’d like to see the Northern Lights, travel to Hawaii, and try skiing in Colorado. 

Thank YouKenfor participating in The Cuyahoga Group Employee Spotlight,and  thankyou for your 22 years of service and dedication! 

Celebrating National Compliment Day!

Words are powerful, and a simple, kind word or phrase can change someone’s day and may even impact their life. That’s why The Cuyahoga Group is celebrating National Compliment Day.A compliment goes a long way, and you never know how it will brighten someone’s day!  

Share the love—leave a kind comment! 

While there’s always room for improvement and constructive criticism is useful and welcomed, let’s also remember to accentuate the positive. Please leave a kind comment for your favoriteCuyahoga Group route driver or team member.  And remember, we only get what we give, so let the circle of kindness grow and shine.  

Bring on the compliments from your team! 

If you provide your team with the best in onsite meal, snack & beverage options to keep them happy, nourished and hydrated all day, the compliments will follow!  For 31 years, The Cuyahoga Group has delivered the best in VendingMicro-MarketsMobile Dining, Office Coffee and Catering services.  We provide meal, snack, coffee and beverage choices that your employees need to reenergize throughout the workday, without the hassle or expense of leaving the premises. To contact us, click here or call us at 800-901-8363.   

Honoring an American Hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Monday, January 20, 2020, The Cuyahoga Group honors and remembers the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King’s courageous fight for social justice, unwavering vision and ultimate personal sacrifice was a light of hope in a country that continued to be marred by racism and inequality. His unparalleled work and vision brought the reality of civil rights and social justice into all facets of our culture—and his legacy will be remembered always. 

The words of Dr. King’s iconic I Have A Dream speech, ring as powerful, relevant and true today as the day he delivered them on August 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C: 

“And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. 

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. 

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” –Dr. King, 1963 

To read Dr. King’s speech in its entirety, click, here.   

Knowing our Customers is what we Do!

National Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed on the third Thursday of each quarter.  The Cuyahoga Group acknowledges these designated days because getting to know our customers reflects the history, mission and future growth of our company.

Our continued focus on taking care of our customer into this new decade is strongly rooted in our beginnings. In 1987, Jim Variglotti, Vietnam War veteran and founder and CEO of The Cuyahoga Group, transitioned from vending machine mechanic to vending machine owner, and quickly learned that the key to forging bonds of trust with customers was by getting to know the customer: understanding who they are, what they want, and understanding that delivering on quality products framed in excellent customer service are all critical elements in building customer trust and growing the company. 

Jim also understood that forging strong customer partnerships begins and ends with the highest level of customer service, framed by elements of quality products, mutual trust, respect, honesty—and always going the extra mile to meet and exceed customer expectations. 

From our route drivers, office associates, and culinary team, to our management and executive staff, these values run through all VendingMicro-MarketOffice Coffee, Mobile Dining and Catering services at The Cuyahoga Group.  

Customer Partnerships that begin with a Handshake 

Who are our customers? Starting with Jim’s first customer 31 years ago, The Cuyahoga Group has grown to include thousands of customers across three states.  We provide workplace culinary, beverage, mobile dining and catering services to companies large and small—from family-owned businesses to global corporations that span the spectrum of retail, healthcare, manufacturing, government, education, recreation, financial and nonprofit organizations. 

Customization for a Diverse Clientele 

Our customers are as diverse as the industries we serve, which is why we regularly take the time to learn about what food and beverage options our customers want. Understanding customer needs through in-person visits, surveys, including our ‘Cookie for Your Thoughts’ program, helps us to tailor workplace VendingMicro-Market, Office Coffee and Mobile Dining services to suit the specific requests and tastes of each client—keeping them energized and hydrated, without the hassle or cost of leaving the workplace.    

Variety in food & beverage products—it’s what our customers want!  

At home and in the workplace, we’re more healthy-savvy than ever before, and The Cuyahoga Group strives to customize healthy workplace food and beverage options through our Healthy Line of products. Gluten-free, low-sodium, high protein, low-carb or organic—we’ve got it! 

Our VendingOffice Coffee and Micro-Markets services support wellness programs in the workplace through a variety of options—from fresh and healthy wraps, yogurt, natural cheese, salads, hummus and homemade soups and meals delivered daily, to popular brand items like Cliff® and Nature Valley® granola bars, Planters® Fruit and Nut options, to healthy hydration with Life Water®, Pure Leaf®, and Gold Peak® products—The Cuyahoga Group has the variety, convenience and taste that our customers want! 

Let us Get to Know Your Team: Contact us today! 

To contact The Cuyahoga Group about providing the best in culinary choices for your workplace, click here or call us at 800-901-8363. 

Conserving Energy saves more than the Bottom Line

January 10th is designated as National Cut Your Energy Costs Day.  At home or at work, reducing energy use not only reduces costs, it also lessens our carbon footprint, which supports the health of our planet. 

Join the Cuyahoga Group to Reduce, Recycle & Renew 

In the past several years, The Cuyahoga Group has introduced company-wide policies that support earth-friendly and sustainable programs and outcomes.  

From cardboard recycling, to reducing fresh food waste, to implementing LED lighting in our vending and market units, The Cuyahoga Group continues to make advances on being part of earth-friendly practices and solutions. Some of our most recent advancements in implementing sustainable, green practices include: 

  • Redesign of Driver Delivery Routes: New software programs that increase efficiency and decrease drive time in delivery routes, which decreases gas consumption to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  
  • Reduction of Food Waste: Combined efforts of software implementation and corporate-wide standards for monitoring food waste has provided a nearly 30% reduction of food waste in the past year. 
  • Purchasing: We utilize a program called “Imperfect Produce.”  This includes produce that may have a slight indentation and cannot be sold for retail, thereby reducing waste from local farmers. 
  • Automation-Accountability: Implementing software that reduces waste across each product category by identifying low-selling items; this helps customize menus and product choices for customers while reducing food waste. 
  • Paper Recycle: All paper products from all Cuyahoga Group warehouses, offices and culinary center are outsourced for recycling. 
  • Cardboard Recycle: We purchases a vertical card board compactor which allows for recycling by an outsourced company. 
  • LED Lighting: Our new vending machines and market refrigerators include LED lighting, designed to increase efficiency and conserve energy, which supports lessening our carbon footprint. 
  • Locally-Sourced Produce: Whenever possible, we purchase locally-grown produce from local farmers, which helps support a sustainable, ‘green’ community. 
  • Organic and Fair-Trade Coffee Products: Many of our coffee selections are certified organic and certified Fair-Trade brands, which supports family growers, communities and the environment.  

Our Customers also focus on a Healthier Planet 

We’re proud to partner with planet-conscious customers like Nestle Corporation. In studying food trends that coincide with Nestle’s passion about the environment, they’ve implemented a Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, which brings plant-based, planet-healthy foods to customers: products that are healthy for humans and for the planet. Click here to read more about the many ways that Nestle is making on a large scale, including a 100% recycled packaging goal by 2025. 

We can ALL Make a Difference! 

In this new year, we can all commit to make changes, whether at home or at work, that reduce our carbon footprint and support the health of our planet.  For some quick and easy ways that you can make a difference in supporting planet-friendly initiatives, click here. 

Fresh & Flavorful and Environmentally Aware—call us today! 

For more information on The Cuyahoga Group’s Markets, Vending, Office Coffee and Catering services for your workplace, please call us at 1-800-901-8363; email us at info@cuygroup, or click here.  

On the first day of winter: celebrate gratitude!

Today is the first day of winter, that singular day when the sun sets earlier than any other day of the year. The good news is, in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year means that longer daylight hours begin the day after the winter solstice

As our planet continues another revolution around the sun, let’s close out the year with a renewed focus on gratitude and hope for a better, brighter tomorrow. 

With the new year just days away and the plans, possibilities and dreams we have for 2020, it’s also the perfect time to renew efforts, big and small, to make our corner of the universe a better place. 

From The Cuyahoga Group family to yours, we wish everyone a happy winter solstice, joyous holiday season, and a happy and health new year!  

Holiday Traditions add Sparkle to the Celebration!

The holidays are all about gathering with family and friends and celebrating traditions that we hold close to our hearts. We gather with loved ones to enjoy time together, to remember the past, and to look forward to the future. Whether our holiday traditions are generations-old or recently created, small and personal or planned on a grand scale, we find them all interesting and heartwarming.

This year, we asked team members to share a brief description of their holiday traditions—and we hope that this first year of posting team traditions will become a holiday tradition for The Cuyahoga Group!  Thank you to everyone who participated this year! 

Lauren Rafferty, Marketing: I love decorating for Christmas and I always put my tree up before Thanksgiving! I spent this past weekend decorating.    

Carla Variglotti, Vice President: I love a good holiday sweater. Every year I try to buy myself a new holiday sweater and will rotate the different sweaters throughout Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day!

LaShawn Ortiz, Administrative Assistant: 
Every Christmas Eve night we go to my parents’ home in our Christmas PJs. As a tradition, we open presents at midnight; everyone takes turns opening gifts. We have a family prayer and we top the night off by having a huge family-style breakfast then watch the movie, A Christmas Story.

Lee Black, Administrator:  
On Thanksgiving we go to a local park in the morning and play football. Both of my brothers are the quarterbacks on the opposite teams; the winning team gets the trophy for the year. We invite any friends or family that want to join us! Another tradition is that every year, we host the family Christmas party at my house, and my husband dresses up as Santa. Instead of boots he usually wears his Nike or Jordan slides lol. Everyone gets a photo with Santa and even the adults get a goody bag from Santa Black.

Marlene Raulston, Manager of Dining Services: 
Last year we cut down our own Christmas Tree…. from the front yard!  Once we got the tree inside and decorated, we found no evidence of critters, or bugs, coming from the tree.  We did find an empty bird nest!  

Lisa Casini, Marketing/Customer Service: 
Every year, my daughter and I set aside a day in December for ‘cookie day’ – where we spend the day baking dozens of holiday cookies. In the last couple of years, we’ve added chocolate covered pretzels to the list. Even minor kitchen mishaps add to the fun and great memories.

Thank you again for Sharing your Holiday Traditions—and Happy Holidays to All!