philOn October 12, 2012, I learned that the magazines I had spent the previous ten years improving were sold to a company that I had spent the last ten years competing against. I also learned that I was unemployed. I’ve had better Fridays.

So I did what any self-respecting publisher would do, I went to Paris. Amazing what some good food, wine and the company of family and friends can do for the soul. While in Paris, my wife and I visited our niece, Alexandra Creange, who was studying at the American University and we spent some time with my good friend and colleague Jacco van Laar.

Over food, drinks and a few cigars, Jacco and I discussed life, family, future. We examined what we like to do, what we would rather not do, etc. We both realized that we truly enjoy this industry and publishing a magazine that supports the best of what private label can be. It was too soon to say goodbye to all our friends, so we decided that we had to continue.
Upon my return from Paris, I went to PLMA’s Chicago Show to quietly “float” the idea of a new, global retail brand magazine. The reaction was very positive and, as they say, the rest is history.

What you are now reading is our first effort. Liken it, if you would, to the first offering of a recently planted vineyard. While it conveys the essence of what we intend to become, it is only a beginning. Like wine, we will improve with age.

It would be impossible to thank everyone who made this possible, but I must thank a few people, without whom, it would have been impossible. Jacco van Laar for his friendship, encouragement and driving skills, Charyliz Rodriguez for her design vision and ability to tolerate me, my Mom, Maria Russo who introduced me to a publishing company at the influential age of 16 and finally, my beautiful wife Ann, my hero and daily source of inspiration.

And I would feel real bad if I didn’t also express my gratitude to – John Angiolillo, Philip Shaoul, Koen de Jong, Christopher Durham; Natalie Berg and Planet Retail, Sabine Geissler,
Irene Tortorella and our friends at – DEK; Drogheria & Alimentari; Fattorie Giacobazzi; Freiberger Pizza; Global Tissue Group; Icco Cheese; MarcabyBolognaFiere; MDD Expo;
My-Private Brand; NP Foods; Own Label Show; PL Sourcing; PLMA; Tonitto; Toy Fair 2013; Tuttofood 2013; Vossko GmbH & Co. KG

We hope you like what you read, would love your opinions and…thank you for your time and support.

Phillip Russo
Publisher / Editorial Director

Digital Edition Sponsored by Global Tissue Group