18th Annual People’s Awards

Deli Business’ annual People’s Awards recognizes the best of the best in the industry. These individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience but what they have in common is notable careers and contributions to the field. The following pages detail this year’s winners’ careers, business philosophies and crowning achievements, along with insight on their personal lives.

Tammi Cunningham 

Category Buyer, Deli

Giant Eagle, Inc.

O’Hara Township, PA

Q. How has your career evolved over the years? 


A.  I started my career in administrative support to multiple executives within Giant Eagle, Inc. Through positive feedback and encouragement of those mentors, I was always encouraged to use my talents in a way that would benefit the company as well as myself. I transitioned into purchasing in 2000. The business has truly evolved in 22 years, and it’s an honor to work for a company that consistently transforms their business model to meet the current trends of the industry, now and into the future. 

Q,  What is your leadership philosophy? 

A. It’s important to have a mutual respect with your business partners, internal and external. Giant Eagle, Inc. has an excellent team effort throughout the organization. We’re a team!

Q. What is the best advice you ever received and why? 

A.  Own your mistakes, learn from them and move on.


Q. How do you balance your work and personal life? 

A.  It’s much easier now that we work remotely. Personally, I’ve gained two hours a day by not commuting to the office. That allows more time for a personal life. 

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

A. Consumers continue to look for convenience and more diverse offerings from supermarkets. Our Curbside initiative has grown exponentially, and we’re able to meet customer demands in real time.

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

A.  Remote connectively is most relevant. The IT infrastructure at Giant Eagle, Inc. is superb. They’ve responded to unprecedented changes in the past two years without interruption. 

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

A.  Growth of the deli department and the continual change of consumer demands of offerings are the biggest changes. 

Q. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome on the job? 

A. Adjusting to system updates and changes is challenging. However, the support needed is available to work through the challenges. 

Q.  What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work? 

A.  I love the outdoors in any capacity and spending time with my grandchildren.

Q. Are you married? If so, how long? How many children? 

A.  Yes, I’ve been married for 33 years with three adult daughters and two granddaughters. 

Cover Story

Tales from IDDBA

The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta was buzzing with activity, as the aisles filled throughout the day and manufacturer booths had crowds sampling all that the IDDBA Show had to offer. Attendees proclaimed they were happy to be back after the two-year hiatus due to COVID, and from the looks of things, the industry has picked up where it left off in 2019. […]

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