At 8:35 p.m. on October 18, 1978, Ella Whitt purchased the first Certified Angus Beef ® product. To commemorate the event at Renzetti’s IGA in Columbus, Ohio, Governor James A. Rhodes issued an official proclamation launching the country’s first fresh beef brand. Attending the launch were (from left) Al and Carmella Renzetti; Gilman Stewart, American Angus Association® president; Bob Renzetti; Whitt; C.K. Allen, Association executive secretary; and Pat Lynch (Lyons), checkout clerk.
Steve Fancelli remembers those days well. He worked at Renzetti’s IGA from 1972-81.
“At our managers’ meetings, Bob Renzetti told us about this new premium brand of beef and with great pride, how we would be the first to offer it,” Fancelli remembers. “Point-of-sale material helped educate consumers from day one, but often the selling was done by Bob Renzetti, Bob Slark and meat department employees directly with the customer.”
Fancelli believes the brand has come a long way in educating both businesses and consumers. Today, he is a marketing associate with Sysco Cleveland and in 2012, he visited our headquarters in Wooster, Ohio. Fancelli couldn’t wait to get home to tell his family about the photo he saw hanging in the boardroom of the first sale. He is married to Elaine (Lynch) Fancelli — the sister of checkout clerk Pat (Lynch) Lyons. “We laughed about Patty’s picture being in the brand’s ‘world headquarters’.”
For more information about the brand and its rich, flavorful history, click here.