General Manager for Startup Co-op

Position Type: General Manager
Apply By: April 1, 2019
Posted: January 9, 2019 - 5:31 pm EST
Organization Type: Co-op Retail
Organization: Gem City Market
Organization Location: Dayton, OH
Organization Website: Gem City Market
Contact Name: Joleta Marie Parker
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: 937-224-1474

Gem City Market – General Manager for startup co-op


Gem City Market is seeking a start-up General Manager to lead a community-centered full service grocery cooperative with a focus on affordable conventional groceries, serving a diverse low to moderate income neighborhood in Dayton, Ohio.  The job of the General Manager is to lead the Market through the final start-up and planning process in the year leading up to opening day, and then to oversee the well-organized operation of a store that meets the needs of its customers and creates a welcoming environment.  The General manager will ensure that the Market operates efficiently and achieves the goals and objectives developed by the board of directors, including affordability, quality of product, cleanliness and inclusion.

Reporting relationships

The general manager reports to the board of directors, which is elected by the members of the cooperative. The general manager has the authority to hire and direct all other staff.

Specific responsibilities:


  • Work with wholesaler to determine product mix, appropriate planogram and inventory
  • Develop prepared and fresh food program and menu
  • Determine additional supplier needs and develop relationships and contracts
  • Create operating procedures and policies
  • Create or oversee start-up marketing plan and execution leading to opening day


• Ensure a smooth start-up and an efficient, ultimately profitable, growing business

• Maintain knowledge of grocery retailing and industry trends, in particular in terms of serving urban and low to moderate income communities

• Maintain appropriate relations with wholesale distributors, local markets, and other industry sources

• Ensure the establishment and maintenance of a product mix that meets shopper needs

• Plan and execute a margin strategy designed to be price competitive and maintain adequate cash flow

• Ensure compliance with all applicable laws regarding licenses, permits, health regulations, employment, etc. 

Financial and planning

• Develop and recommend to the board of directors long- and short-range plans to achieve co-op   purposes

• Prepare operating and capital budgets for approval by the board and be held accountable for control of resources

• Direct all financial operations of the cooperative

• Investigate new business opportunities and make recommendations to the board of directors on expansion, relocation, and acquisitions; conduct negotiations as agreed

• Provide information to the board

• Participate in regional and national co-op and industry events


  • Determine staffing structure and job descriptions
  • Hire management staff and oversee hiring of all other staff
  • Determine pay scale based on budget and local job market, and develop employment policies with assistance from Board and counsel
  • Develop and manage a staffing chart that promotes fair distribution of work while maintaining maximum service to customers
  • Develop staff training plan:
  •  Management training for management team members
  •  Orientation for all new staff, including training about natural foods and cooperatives
  •  On the job training for all staff, including cross training of staff in all departments
  • Research and establish employee benefits program


• Develop an advertising and marketing strategy to increase public awareness of the cooperative’s products and services

• Execute the advertising and marketing plan within budgetary guidelines

• Communicate information about the business to the members through newsletter, social media and an annual report

• Prepare or oversee store displays, signage, and other promotions to maximize marketing impact

Perform other duties assigned by the board of directors.


The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. The ideal candidate will have proven successful experience with the functions listed below.


  • Experience in the grocery industry
  • Computer literacy
  • Supervisory experience: hiring, training, evaluating, compensating, firing
  • Experience with operating, capital, and cash budgeting
  • Experience supervising managers
  • Bottom-line accountability experience
  • Retail management experience
  • Retail grocery experience
  • Knowledge of current trends in the grocery industry
  • Ability to interpret financial statements to laypeople
  • Demonstrated ability to develop policies and procedures
  • Ethics
  • Ability to motivate, lead, and coordinate people to gain cooperation
  • Ability to build an effective management team
  • Ability to manage own and others' time
  • Ability to listen and ask appropriate questions
  • Ability to present spoken and written information clearly
  • Ability to work with different racial backgrounds

Strongly desired:

  • Strategic planning experience
  • Ability to evaluate and determine appropriate strategic changes
  • Experience with Policy Governance
  • Experience in marketing and merchandising in highly competitive markets
  • Ability to use Open Book Management
  • Ability to make financial investment decisions
  • Experience in a food desert or low income community
  • Conventional grocery experience
  • Independent (as opposed to chain) store management experience
  • Cooperative management experience
  • Experience working for or serving on a board of directors
  • Ability to be proactive and keep momentum going for growth and change
  • Ability to make tough decisions
  • Respect and support for the board process
  • Ability to handle multiple demands
  • Ability to articulate a vision and get group members to buy into it
  • Ability to give and receive feedback without defensiveness
  • Openness to good new ideas, regardless of where they come from
  • Great enthusiasm for working at the Gem City Market in particular
  • Culture of humility
  • Community orientation
  • Commitment to cooperative values and principles
  • Ability to maintain union neutrality
  • Sense of urgency

To be considered, please send cover letter and resume to: Joleta Marie Parker [email protected] by April 1, 2019.