General Manager

Position Type: General Manager
Apply By: August 11, 2017
Posted: Thursday, July 13
Organization Type: Co-op Retail
Organization: Kokua Market
Organization Location: Honolulu, HI
Organization Website: Kokua Market Community Co-op
Contact Name: Pam Gring-Fee, Board President
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: (808) 941-1922

Honolulu Food Co-op Seeks General Manager

Founded in 1971, Kokua Country Foods Cooperative is the first member-owned grocery store in Honolulu. It specializes in meeting the community’s desire for organic, fair trade and locally grown food, welcoming member and nonmember shoppers. It is open 11 hours/day, 7 days/week with approximately 30 full- and part-time staff, and with gross annual sales of approximately 3.5 million dollars. Our mission is to promote natural foods by supporting local organic food production, and promoting sustainable practices and food security in a culturally diverse, island context.

Kokua Market is guided by the basic principles established by the International Cooperative Alliance in 1995, including: open and voluntary membership; democratic member control participation; member economic participation; fiscal autonomy and independence; education, training, and information-sharing about cooperative practices; cooperation with other cooperatives; and concern for active engagement with the community. (Please see appendix for a complete, annotated list of The Cooperative Principles.)

The Board of Directors (hereafter referred to as the Board) has identified an increased owner/customer base and a more sustainable organization as essential measures to realize Kokua’s unique potential as a thriving, people-driven food co-op.

Our priorities include: improving the management of costs, personnel resources, and marketing strategies. We are seeking a General Manager (hereafter referred to as GM) with the proven skills, experience, enthusiasm, and openness to the challenges of working in a unique island environment.

Job Summary

The job of the GM is to lead the co-operative so that it achieves the goals and objectives developed by the Board.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Commitment to co-operative values and principles
  • Industry Knowledge & Experience
  • Budgeting -- operations, capital, and cash
  • Minimum of three (3) years retail and/or food sector management experience
  • Food system sustainability in general, and preferably specific to Hawai`i or other island environments

Personnel Management

  • Ability to manage labor costs and deliver a high degree of staff productivity

  • Ability to motivate, lead, and coordinate people to inspire cooperation

  •  Demonstrated skill in setting clear expectations and holding staff accountable

  • Supervisory skills that include hiring, training, evaluating, managing compensation and firing

Desirable Qualifications

  • Experience in organizational transformation, growth, and/or expansion
  • Entrepreneurial spirit with demonstrated creativity and innovation in business
  • Strategic Planning
Reporting Relationships

The GM reports to the Board which is elected by the members of the co-op. The GM has the authority, in accordance with the By-Laws and the current version of the Kokua Personnel Manual, to hire, direct, and evaluate all staff.

Specific Responsibilities

Cooperation with the Board

  • Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to Board policies and processes
  • Prepare and submit written reports to the Chairperson prior to the Board meeting
  • Attend all meetings of the Board
  • Work with the Board to establish and achieve annual goals and objectives
Finance and Planning
  • Develop and recommend to the Board strategic plans to achieve co-op goals and objectives
  • Prepare annual budgets for approval by the Board
  • Direct and manage all resources and financial operations of Kokua responsibly and effectively
  • Prepare monthly and annual financial and management reports to the Board
  • Analyze Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statements accurately

Operations and Merchandising

  • Ensure a profitable, growing business
  • Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of natural, fair trade, organic and local foods retailing and industry trends
  • Cultivate and maintain sustainable relationships with wholesale distributors, local markets, and other industry sources
  • Ensure the establishment and maintenance of a product mix that meets member needs
  • Plan and execute a margin strategy designed to be price competitive and maintain adequate profit for growth
  • Maintain and update equipment and systems
  • Maintain and update inventory, receiving and stocking procedures
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable laws: licenses, permits, health regulations, employment, etc.


  • Develop a staff training plan, equitable pay scale, position descriptions, staffing structure, orientation process, and employee benefits and policy manual in keeping with best practices, goals, and objectives of Kokua.
  • Develop a staff organizational structure designed to provide exemplary customer service
  • Prepare a yearly payroll budget in keeping with budget constraints
  • Ensure a safe, healthy workplace
  • Promote a culture of professionalism, enthusiasm and high quality of staff performance

Marketing and Member Engagement

  • Develop and execute advertising and marketing strategies to increase co-op membership, sales and public awareness of products and services

  • Communicate information about the co-op to members through its website, social media, newsletter and an annual report

  • Ensure displays, signage, and other promotions are prepared to maximize marketing impact

  • Maintain and update contact with community organizations and media contacts

  • Engage co-op members and develop strategic community partnerships

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected] no later than August 11, 2017. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, so get yours in today!

See PDF for Appendix: The Cooperative Principles