Produce Manager

Position Type: Management Team
Apply By: November 6, 2018
Posted: September 12, 2018 - 12:12 pm EDT
Organization Type: Co-op Retail
Organization: Eastside Food Co-op
Organization Location: Minneapolis, MN
Organization Website: Apply Online!
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Job Summary: Purchase, inventory, display, market, and sell products in the produce department in a manner that will attract and retain customers and meet financial goals.  Manage produce staff in a way that develops, attracts, and retains employees.  Demonstrate a love for food and passion for people while creating an excellent customer experience by maintaining a friendly, safe, and clean environment.  Work in a manner that supports the achievement of the co-op's ends policies.


The following description of work to be performed by this individual is not intended to be all-inclusive.  Rather, it focuses on the major tasks that must be accomplished.  There are many necessary activities to satisfy any of the following performance guidelines.

Customer Service

  • Create a positive customer experience by modeling great service and providing ongoing customer service training and coaching to staff.
  • Promptly resolve customer suggestions, comments, and complaints.
  • Respond to written customer comments promptly and politely.
  • Ensure all produce staff are fully trained and armed with the knowledge and information needed to provide excellent customer service.


  • Inventory, order, and receive product in a manner that supports departmental goals for sales, margin, pricing, shrink, promotions, and displays.
  • Evaluate all suppliers to ensure they meet EFC's product guidelines and goals for prices, terms, quality, and delivery.
  • Develop and maintain the tools needed to achieve purchasing goals (e.g. order guides, shrink logs, vendor lists, delivery schedules, etc.)
  • Ensure that all invoices are properly coded an submitted in a timely manner; obtain credit from suppliers as needed.
  • Accurately record and process special orders.
  • Research product availability, price, and quality issues.
  • Ensure that receiving procedures are properly followed.


  • Maintain attractive, fully stocked, rotated and faced displays.
  • Plan, organize, and participate in weekly promotional display resets, as well as seasonal and as-needed resets.
  • Ensure proper and frequent culling of all out-of-date, poor quality, and/or otherwise unsellable items.
  • Plan and implement promotions in a manner that encourages sales and delights the customer, while considering seasonality and existing commitments to NCG promotions programs.
  • Administer all aspects of NCG programs for which EFC decides to participate.
  • Attend trade shows and read industry and trade journals to keep informed of industry trends.
  • Work with the Merchandising Team to promote cross-merchandising of products and other merchandising strategies within the store.


  • Participate in annual budget process.
  • Plan, direct, and manage produce department operations to promote and maximize sales and profit margins and achieve labor goals.
  • Effectively utilize all available tools and resources in order to meet or exceed budgeted targets.
  • Create a pricing and merchandising strategy to meet profit margin and other established goals.
  • Conduct regular price comparisons with other stores.
  • Coordinate quarterly inventory counts and submit data in a timely manner.
  • Regularly evaluate sales statistics using data gathered through the point-of-sale and other available resources to ensure proper product mix.
  • Review financial performance reports and analyze and interpret data to identify opportunities to obtain cost savings objectives through efficient planning of resources, including labor.

Department Maintenance and Safety

  • Monitor equipment and fixtures and arrange for maintenance as needed.
  • Ensure regular cleaning of shelves, bins, tables, coolers, and other areas that comprise the produce department.
  • Clean or coordinate department cleaning according to health regulations and protocols.
  • Monitor department to ensure food safety requirements are adhered to including hand washing, temping, food storage and employee health; take action as needed to correct unsafe situations. Maintain a safe and secure environment, adhering to all safety, food safety, and security programs, guidelines, and regulations.


  • Provide leadership and supervision to all produce staff.
  • Model supportive and participatory leadership qualities, promoting team building and cooperation. Motivate staff to achieve departmental goals.
  • Develop systems that facilitate positive, clear, and concise communication.
  • In coordination with the Fresh Foods Manager and HR department, post, interview, and hire for open produce positions.
  • Develop and regularly evaluate training protocols for all produce positions. Participate in staff training and ensure that all training protocols are followed.
  • Scheduling: Determine a staff schedule that ensures department coverage that allows customer service and operational goals to be met at all times.  Follow all agreed upon posting and time off request guidelines.  Provide shift coverage as needed so that the department is fully staffed.
  • Track employee attendance and provide coaching and discipline in accordance with EFC's Attendance Policy.
  • Monitor employee customer service, work performance, and adherence to co-op policies and procedures. Provide positive feedback, coaching, and disciplinary action as needed, in accordance with established personnel policies.

Core Competencies

  • Dependability: Punctual to shifts and meetings, meets commitments, works independently, accepts accountability.
  • Productivity: Prioritizes well, meets deadlines, manages time well.
  • Adaptability: Adapts to change, open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, adjusts plans to meet changing needs.
  • Communication: Communicates well verbally and in writing, shares information with others, listens attentively, asks questions, stays open to other viewpoints.
  • Customer focus: Always available for customers, understands products and services, maintains professional appearance, assumes responsibility for solving customer problems.
  • Integrity: Deals with others in a straightforward and honest manner, is accountable for actions, supports cooperative values.
  • Teamwork: Listens to others and values opinions, welcomes newcomers and promotes a team atmosphere


  • Knowledge of and passion for produce, including sustainable growing practices and seasonality.
  • Minimum of one year prior supervisory experience
  • Service-oriented individual with a high energy, positive and friendly demeanor
  • Knowledge and aptitude of financial reporting concepts
  • Computer skills (Excel, Word, email, attendance software, point-of-sale)
  • Excellent customer service, interpersonal, and communication skills
  • Sound judgement, decision-making, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to stand, bend, reach, and lift repeatedly for extended periods of time
  • Regular, predictable attendance; schedule flexibility
  • Experience purchasing in a natural foods store preferred