Produce Manager

Willy Street Co-op
Organization location: 
Middleton, WI
Apply by: 
Tue, 11/26/2013

The Willy Street Co-op, designated "Best Place to Work" in 2012 by Madison Magazine, is a natural foods cooperative with retail locations in both Madison and Middleton.  We are looking for a Produce Manager for our Middleton store.  The Produce Manager ensures that we provide top quality produce, with the widest selection and best value possible, at all times and is responsible for the attainment of positive operating results in the Produce Department.  The Produce manager also provides a safe, attractive and efficient department staffed with well-trained employees who provide excellent customer service. This is a full time, salaried position.

Qualifications Include:

  • At least one year's experience managing margin, labor and produce presentation in a produce department at a grocery store.
  • ​Experience working with local produce vendors, farmers and produce processing warehouses - both in the Midwest and California
  • Strong knowledge of produce organic practices
  • Excellent people managing skills and experience

We offer an exceptional benefits package including health and dental insurance with no deductible, paid vacation and sick time, 401(k) matching, profit sharing, 20% employee discount and more.

Please apply online at:​  and include a resume and cover letter no later than November 26th to be considered. EOE.

The pay range starts at $20.11/hour (~41,830 annual salary)


Job Title: Produce Manager

Reports to: Store Manager
Direct Reports:



To provide top quality produce, with the widest selection and best value possible, at all times. To provide a safe, attractive, and efficient department staffed with well-trained employees who provide excellent customer service. The Produce Manager is responsible for the attainment of positive operating results in the Produce Department.



Salaried position, 40 hours per week.


Essential Functions


1. Customer service

Customer service is WSGC’s primary focus in providing food, goods, and services to its customers. It is the goal of the staff that all customers are treated in a respectful and courteous manner, paying close attention to their individual needs. This personal care and attention should be directed to all customers to ensure that shopping at the WSGC is as comfortable and satisfying an experience as possible. The Produce Manager is not only responsible for providing excellent customer service herself, but also for training and assisting the produce staff in their customer service skills.

  • Ensure department employees treat customers in a friendly and helpful manner.
  • Ensure department employees assist customers fully and answer their questions, needs, and requests.
  • Resolve customer complaints in a fair and tactful manner.
  • Encourage and answer all customer suggestions, requests and complaints pertaining to produce.

2. Product Selection

The product selection of the produce department includes a wide range of foods including organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, as well as some select conventional offerings. Many items are sourced locally when possible. The produce department provides food of the highest quality, with the widest selection and best value possible.

  • Work with the purchasing manager to determine product mix to achieve sales and margin goals and satisfy customer demand.
  • Keep abreast of new product offerings and changing member needs, recommend product adjustments to the Purchasing Manager.
  • Stay up to date on, uphold and enforce organic standards
  • Implement effective promotional programs, displays and signage in conjunction with the Purchasing Manager
  • Work with the Purchasing Manager as requested to stay abreast of competitor pricing
  • Ensure proper storage, rotation and culling of produce.
  • Work with produce staff to assure an excellent overall department presentation including fully stocked bins and shelves. The department should be clean, attractive and safe at all times with complete and accurate signs and shelf tags.
  • Ensure optimum stock levels are maintained. The produce aisle should look abundant, while inventory is kept low enough to allow for optimal freshness of product, and minimal spoilage.
  • Maintain effective working relations with suppliers.
  • Work with Purchasing Manager to schedule delivery of small vendor goods and oversee proper in-store receiving guidelines by produce staff
  • Work with produce staff to ensure all products are properly rotated
  • Work closely with FoG staff to ensure accurate inventory numbers and correct pricing of all products in produce
  • Ensure all signs and shelf tags are accurate.
  • Assist as needed with daily operations, routines and procedures.
  • Merchandise attractively and purposefully in conjunction with Art Coordinator and Purchasing Manager.

3. Personnel

Having a well trained and effective staff is essential to the smooth functioning of the Produce Department. The Produce Manager is responsible for selecting, training, educating, motivating, and generally overseeing the produce staff.

  • Determine optimal staffing levels in line with approved labor expense to sales ratios.
  • Work with the Human Resources Manager to staff the produce department.
  • Make final selection of produce employees and ensure that they receive appropriate customer service and produce training.
  • Write the weekly employee work schedule and organize the daily activities of the staff to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency.
  • Train, coach, and counsel employees to improve performance in job duties and responsibilities using the produce daily operations guidelines.
  • Monitor staff performance to ensure all staff are following department policies and procedures. Intervene and assist where necessary.
  • Formally evaluate employees according to the established review schedule.
  • Set a positive example for employees.

4. Administration

  • Work with the Store Manager to develop short and long-range department goals and plans. Implements those plans.
  • Implement approved budgets and meet sales objectives leading to positive operating results.
  • Complete timely and accurate department reports
  • Read trade journals and attend regional or national trades shows and conferences to stay abreast of current industry trends.
  • Work with the Art Coordinator to maintain color schemes, graphic styles, seasonal themes, and signage in line with the entire co-op.
  • Ensure all produce equipment is well-maintained.
  • Implement approved safety and sanitation programs in the department.
  • Monitor and maintain department supplies.
  • Write monthly articles for the newsletter
  • Organize quarterly produce inventory, cooler cleanings and department meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Store Manager.


  • Extensive knowledge of produce identification, storage, use, and preparation.
  • Extensive understanding of organic standards as they apply to produce and prepared foods within produce.
  • Ability to analyze budgets and sales reports
  • At least 2 years experience in purchasing and inventory control.
  • At least one year of experience training and supervising staff.
  • Ability to cover all positions in the produce department
  • Ability to manage multiple demands and meet deadlines
  • Ability to develop and maintain mutually respectful relations with customers, staff, and vendors.
  • Ability to work independently and motivate self and others.
  • Ability to handle stressful situations in a calm, effective manner.
  • Effective problem solving skills
  • Excellent and consistent customer service skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to cover all positions in produce department.
  • Ability to properly lift 50 pounds.


Contact name: 
Kerrie Lentz