There is no denying that ShopRite is a northern New Jersey staple, a must-visit before barbecues, snowstorms, and everything in between. But Inserra Supermarkets, the family-owned company that owns 23 ShopRite stores in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties in New Jersey as well as Rockland County, New York, is more integral to the communities it serves than many people realize, providing a helping hand to those in need whenever possible.
Jim Dorey ’92, the newly appointed senior vice president of Inserra Supermarkets, is all-in with the company’s people-first philosophy. “Inserra and the ShopRite stores are embedded in the community,” he says. “This is truly a family business where the interests of our associates, our customers and our community drive our business. This is a company that takes care of the community, that looks out for its associates and neighbors. It is awesome to be part of that.”
Dorey understands the importance of family, strong neighborhoods and hard work. “I grew up in West Orange, working for my family’s pizza and deli business,” he explains. His work ethic and his family and community values were reinforced when he began studying business at Montclair State University.
“At Montclair I was surrounded by students and professors who were all working hard,” he recalls. “Everybody had jobs, everyone was living a lot of life.”
Dorey also recalls a campus that reflected the communities he knew. “There was such diversity,” he says. “There were a lot of first generation college students, and students whose second language was English. Everyone was striving for something better.”
“The professors had real work experience as well,” Dorey continues. “When they talked about business, they spoke from real world experience.”
Dorey especially appreciated the way his professors’ sensibilities echoed his own. “They talked about providing value for the customer, and about doing the right thing,” he says. “They could take a dry topic and make it interesting, while also driving home essential business principles.”
As a hard-working student himself, Dorey’s business education was reinforced during the hours he put in at his family’s business. “I would listen to the customers and get their perspective too,” he says.
Dorey’s new role as part of the Inserra team could be viewed as taking his career full circle. He most recently served as president of Price Rite Supermarkets, a registered trademark of the retailer-owned cooperative Wakefern, a company he joined nearly 12 years ago as vice president – Marketing/Merchandising. Prior to that, he was director of Marketing at PRRC, Inc., which operates more than 50 stores in the tri-state area and New England. Earlier in his career Dorey was procurement manager-Frozen Food at Wakefern.
Throughout his career, Dorey sought to expand his business skills as well, completing the Leadership at the Peak program of the Center for Creative Leadership and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Dorey couldn’t resist the opportunity to become part of the Inserra legacy. “Working in the supermarket industry all of these years, I knew about the company’s history of community involvement and support,” he says. “I meet so many people who had their first job with ShopRite, and many others who built careers and raised families as employees. It is very special.”
He is equally excited to be working for a company that has been so supportive of his alma mater. Inserra Supermarkets and the Inserra family have generously supported initiatives to benefit Montclair State students, including student scholarships, athletics, the Emergency Book Fund, the Coccia Institute, the Red Hawk Pantry, and the Theresa and Lawrence R. Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies.
In staying active with the University, Dorey serves on the Department of Marketing Board of Advisors and has returned to campus for panel discussions and as a guest lecturer to speak with marketing students about digital marketing in retail.
“It is rewarding to have the opportunity to speak with students and to hear about their aspirations,” he says. “Montclair rivals the most prestigious campuses in the country,” he says, noting that he looks forward to more such visits.
“It’s important to take the time to talk to people, whether they are students, faculty, staff or colleagues. I hope to be available for more campus activities and events, and to share what I’ve learned with students,” he says.
“If you can make a conscious decision to put a smile on your face before you put your feet on the ground at the start of each new day, you’ll be surprised at how much good, positive energy comes back at you.”