Denise Malkoon of North Central Phoenix recently was awarded the Asparagus Club Scholarship ($2,000 for up to four semesters) through the National Grocers Association (NGA) Foundation.

NGA is the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry. The Asparagus Club Scholarship is given each year to an outstanding applicant who is pursuing a career in the grocery industry with a strong understanding of academic, personal, and professional goals to help them achieve this accomplishment.

Malkoon, along with her brother, Jeff, are the team behind the popular Peanut Butter Americano—all-natural, plain and flavored nut butters which can be found around town at local farmer’s markets as well as at select Sprouts and Fry’s grocery stores, Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, Duck and Decanter (on Camelback), and the Phoenix Public Market Café.

“The supermarket industry is challenging for even the best operators, which is why we’re investing in the best and brightest today for the challenges of tomorrow,” said Peter J. Larkin, president and CEO of NGA. “It’s clear that Denise will bring as much dedication to the grocery business as she does her schoolwork.”

Malkoon is pursuing a degree in entrepreneurial student mentorship in higher education at Arizona State University. “Winning this scholarship means that I can focus on my job and do it well. I’m so looking forward to that,” said Malkoon.


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