Blue Hill Co-op Names New General Manager

Kevin Gadsby

BLUE HILL — The Blue Hill Co-op has appointed Kevin Gadsby as its new general manager.

Gadsby will lead efforts to prepare the co-op for expansion to a full-service new site on South Street opening in the fall of 2018.

Gadsby will lead the relocation process working with co-op consulting firms and with Bruce Stahnke of Stahnke & Kitagawa Architects of Harborside to complete the design and interior layout of the new store.

Gadsby brings 20 years of experience in the natural foods retail and food service sector. During this time, he has led in the creation and growth of community food markets, organic and natural foods cafés and an artisan bakery, each with a primary focus on the promotion of organic, local and regional foods.

He has served as project manager, finance administrator and general manager and has extensive experience with managing and directing strong sales growth.

About the Co-op’s plan for growth, Gadsby said, “I once read that Blue Hill is where organic and local had deep roots long before it became a trendy marketing platform. These roots have spread and grown outward. Growth at Blue Hill Co-op has been the result of the steady hand of care and nurturing for many years.

“It’s not something forced. It’s just what happens when the right forces are at work, the forces of vision, passion, understanding and care.”

All of the businesses under Gadsby’s previous leadership received various awards and were recognized on many “Best Of” lists. His most recent accomplishments were realized while serving as general manager of Good Tern Co-op in Rockland (2011-2014), where he facilitated a growth rate of nearly 35 percent during his three-year tenure.

At Good Tern, he led the process of an interior renovations project, coordinated the funding process and installation of a new point-of-sale system, streamlined operations, and created seven additional jobs.

“During my first five years in Maine, I had the privilege of working in and leading two food co-ops toward a steady trend of growth,” Gadsby said.

“Those were exciting and challenging times. The best part of that work for me was in feeling the energy in Maine’s good food economy. Growth was not an end to itself, it’s just what happens when you water seeds in fertile ground. Maine is fertile ground,” he explained.

In April of 2014, Gadsby was named general manager to lead the process of opening the recently established Portland Food Co-op, a community-owned market in Portland, Maine. In the first year of operations, the Portland Food Co-op exceeded all goals related to sales and membership growth.

In March of 2015, Gadsby accepted the position of managing director of Main Street Markets, where he worked as a consultant toward opening a local and specialty foods grocer and café in the town of Rockland.

Before accepting the general manager position at Blue Hill Co-op, Gadsby served as GM of Bareburger Organic restaurant in Center City Philadelphia, where he was instrumental in steering the restaurant out of challenging times toward a steady trend of growth.

“I, along with many others here in Maine, care about fostering the growth of dynamic, robust, local economies. Blue Hill Co-op is at the heart of this for the peninsula. There is so much potential here,” Gadsby said.

January 5, 2017 – The Ellsworth American

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