General Manager, Full Time, Whole Earth Grocery

Whole Earth Grocery
Organization location: 
126 S Main St, River Falls, WI 54022
Apply by: 
Tue, 10/01/2013

We are currently accepting applications for a permanent General Manager. The process of reviewing applications will begin October 1.  

About River Falls, WI:

River Falls, Wisconsin is a small community with rural roots, a commitment to education and culture, and abundant natural beauty. Our Main Street parallels the Kinnickinnic River, a Class A trout stream that runs through town. From Main Street it’s an easy jaunt to excellent bike paths, parks, or the UWRF campus, which hosts an array of cultural events and concerts throughout the year. While maintaining the charm of a progressive rural community, River Falls is a mere 30 minutes from the Twin Cities. Our town is home to a thriving local food community, of which Whole Earth Grocery plays a major role by featuring a bounty of local produce, baked goods and eggs.

About Whole Earth Grocery:

Whole Earth Grocery opened its doors in 1973 and is currently owned by over 1500 member households. Centrally located in downtown River Falls, our store is approximately 2000 square feet and features a newly renovated storefront. Whole Earth Grocery’s annual sales are approaching $900,000 with 12 employees on staff. Our Board of Directors and General Manager use a policy governance document to define leadership roles and maintain an efficient system of governance.   

Overview of specific General Manager duties:

  • ŸProvide excellent customer service to shoppers, making the customer’s needs the priority
  • ŸEnsure that members and customers receive high value in products and services.
  • ŸMaintain and ensure a positive public image for the co-op.
  • ŸCoordinate preparation of annual business plan with capital, operating, and cash budgets.
  • ŸReport to Board on financial performance of the co-op.  Provide financial analyses of current operations and future plans.
  • ŸMaintain financial conditions that do not incur fiscal jeopardy or compromise Board goals and priorities.
  • ŸEnsure timely preparation of annual capital, operating and cash flow budgets that includes evaluation of past and future trends.
  • ŸInvestigate new business opportunities and make recommendations to Board of Directors on expansion, relocation, acquisitions, and conduct negotiations as agreed.
  • ŸSet performance objectives for department managers.
  • ŸEstablish maintenance and security of all co-op property to ensure adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage or theft of property.
  • ŸDevelop & implement process procedure manuals
  • ŸWork with staff to plan promotions, advertising, product demos and in-store merchandising. 
  • ŸEnsure development and implementation of legal and equitable personnel policies
  • ŸNetwork with peers and implement best practices from other co-ops.


  • Experience managing a retail food store (as general manager, store manager, operations manager or district manager)
  • A comprehensive understanding and commitment to local, sustainable foods and the cooperative model
  • Outstanding customer service skills
  • Supervisory experience—hiring, training, evaluating, compensating, and documenting performance
  • A proven ability to motivate self and others
  • Communications skills—written and verbal
  • Business planning experience (financial and strategic)
  • Familiarity with the development and administration of an annual budget
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple demands and prioritize appropriately
  • Ability to interpret financial statements and effectively convey them to the Board
  • Willingness and ability to learn and grow to meet the changing job requirements
  • Demonstrated high integrity and commitment to ethical business practices

Desired Qualifications

  •  Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent
  • Ÿ Experience in food co-op management or natural food retail management
  • Ÿ Experience marketing and merchandizing in competitive markets
  • Ÿ Marketing and operational planning experience
  • Ÿ Experience communicating with and reporting to a board of directors
  • Ÿ Experience with policy governance
  • Ÿ Computer literacy

To Respond:

Please send a cover letter describing your qualifications and motivation for applying, a resume, salary requirement and 3 professional references to: or mail it to GM Search, c/o Whole Earth Grocery, 126 S Main St, River Falls, WI 54022. All applications will be acknowledged upon receipt. For full consideration application material should be received by October 1, 2013. The search will remain open to applications until the position has been filled.

Contact name: 
Maureen Ash, WEG Board President
Contact phone: