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.

Patti Tavelli

Director of Deli and Specialty

Giant Eagle

O’Hara Township, PA

Q. How has your career evolved over the years? 


A.  I started as a marketer/businessperson and have grown to have a deep, genuine love and passion for the art of charcuterie and specialty cheese.

 Q. What positions have you held in industry associations? 

A.  I volunteered for IDDBA’s “What’s In Store” trade show exhibit.

 Q. What is your leadership philosophy? 

A.  Servant Leadership


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

A.  VERY first thoughts in the morning MUST be focused on gratitude for what I have and for the upcoming day—even before my feet hit the floor next to my bed.

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

A. I take one day at a time, one challenge at a time and do what is required. If my family doesn’t come FIRST when they need me, then nothing else will fall into place well (I’ve learned this the hard way!).

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

A.  Inflation and transparency into food supply chains.

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

A.  Microsoft Teams – enables virtual business to be conducted.

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

A.  Automation

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

A.  When home and work life blended together starting in 2020, it required a completely new style of “managing” daily responsibilities.

Q.  What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

A.  Reading and being outside in nature.

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

A.  Yes, for almost 14 years. two young children.

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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