General Manager

Durham Central Market, Inc.
Organization location: 
Durham, North Carolina
Apply by: 
Sat, 03/15/2014



Durham Central Market (the Market) is seeking a motivated, community-oriented leader with previous retail management experience to serve as its first General Manager. The Market is in the process of building a new 10,000 square foot, full-service natural foods co-operative in central Durham which will open as early as November 2014.

The Market already has strong community support with nearly 1,300 members, along with 160 community investors who have funded a large portion of the store’s development. In addition, the Market is being developed with advice and guidance from Weaver Street Market of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, a top 10 co-operative grocery chain in the country.

The Market will be a focal point for the entire Durham community, with the goal of creating a neighborhood co-operative grocery that reflects Durham’s unique culture and community serving those who live and work in the heart of Durham.

Market Goals

The Durham Central Market will create and maintain a strong community by: contributing to a vibrant local economy; engaging in socially equitable relationships; and being a trusted resource for information on food, the environment and the Seven Co-operative Principles.

The Market is targeting annual sales of nearly $3 million in its first year of operations with significant growth targets set for the subsequent years. Given the outstanding growth in the natural foods and products industry, the Market’s Board believes that the purpose-built space for the Market ensures plenty of opportunity for store growth over the coming decade. In support of this growth, the General Manager will be tasked with attracting, hiring, and retaining a motivated staff to lead the Market through a period of tremendous growth, while working with the Board and any contractors, consultants, or external advisors to ensure that startup and operations are meeting or exceeding plan.

About Durham

Home to Duke and North Carolina Central Universities, the Durham Bulls, a vibrant tech startup community, as well as thriving sustainable agriculture and culinary scenes, Durham was recently ranked in the top 10 best places for business and careers and is consistently ranked by major media outlets as one of the most livable cities in America. In early 2013, Durham earned the title of “Tastiest Town in the South” from Southern Living magazine, after being awarded “Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit magazine in 2008. To learn more about why it’s so great to live and work in Durham:

As part of the greater Research Triangle Park metropolitan area (which includes Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro), Durham is considered among the fastest growing areas of the country, as well as one of the most highly educated. These factors all provide great confidence that Durham is “ripe” for its own successful natural foods co-operative. Finally, Durham’s central location makes access to both the mountains and the sea a short two to three hour drive away!


The job of the General Manager (GM) is to lead the Market so that it achieves the goals and objectives developed by the Market’s Board of Directors (the Board). The ideal candidate for this position will be someone with strong leadership skills, high standards, great enthusiasm for co-operatives – especially the Durham Central Market, an ability to keep multiple balls in the air at any given time, well developed people management skills, openness to giving and receiving constructive feedback, and strong communication skills.

Reporting Relationships

The GM reports to the Board as a whole. The Board, acting together, hires, directs evaluates, compensates and (if required) disciplines and terminates the GM.

The GM is empowered to make decisions, create policies and authorize engagements that she or he can demonstrate to be consistent with a reasonable interpretation of Board policies, goals, and objectives.

The GM’s performance will be evaluated regarding asset protection, financial conditions, business planning, financial budgeting, staff treatment and compensation, treatment of customers, membership equity and benefits, and communication and support to the Board. The Board will clearly delineate expected results within defined limits of prudence and ethics.

The GM has the authority to manage all other staff. This authority includes hiring, training, directing, evaluating, compensating and (if required) disciplining and terminating each staff member. The GM has the authority to structure staff in any way that the GM deems effective; including creating staff positions with the responsibility to manage other staff members (e.g., department managers).

Please note that the Market currently employs a Project Manager under contract to the Board whose responsibilities are focused on store development and construction. The GM is expected to work closely with this Project Manager through the store opening phase to ensure smooth operations and progress toward achieving the Market’s goals.

Specific Responsibilities

Planning and Finance

  • Develop and recommend to the Board short-term and long-term plans to achieve the goals and objectives established by the Board
  • Prepare annual operating and capital budgets for approval by the Board
  • Be accountable for stewardship of resources
  • Direct all financial operations of the Market, including management of all banking accounts
  • Investigate and recommend to the Board opportunities for expansion, relocation and acquisitions; conduct negotiations as agreed upon by the Board
  • Inform the Board regularly on operating results and on all other matters material to the success of the Market
  • Participate in co-op and industry events, both regionally and nationally


  • Ensure a profitable and growing business
  • Maintain and increase knowledge of natural foods retailing and industry trends
  • Maintain good relations with local producers, wholesale distributors and other industry sources
  • Establish and maintain a product mix which meets customer and owner-member needs
  • Plan and execute a strategy designed to control expenses, be price competitive and maintain sufficient profit for capital needs
  • Ensure the Market’s compliance with all applicable laws, including licenses, permits, health regulations and employment


  • Develop and lead the team of people who will make this store a success.
  • Develop and oversee compliance with personnel policies; update as needed
  • Hire, supervise, evaluate, train, discipline and terminate management staff
  • Develop an organizational structure that promotes fair distribution of work, controls expenses and maintains maximum service to customers
  • Prepare and meet an annual payroll budget that meets operating budget constraints
  • Revise the personnel plan as needed to meet unplanned changes in store sales
  • Ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable workplace for employees
  • Ensure adequate training for staff members


  • Develop an advertising and marketing strategy to increase public awareness of the Market’s products and services
  • Execute the advertising and marketing plan within budgetary guidelines
  • Communicate information about the business to the owner-members via an annual report and regular updates
  • Oversee store displays, signage, storytelling and other promotions to maximize marketing impact



  • Retail management experience
  • Supervisory experience: hiring, training, evaluating, compensating, firing
  • Bottom-line accountability experience
  • Experience with operating, capital, and cash budgeting
  • Computer literacy
  • Demonstrated ability to develop systems
  • Experience supervising managers


  • Ability to evaluate and determine appropriate strategic changes
  • Marketing and merchandising in highly competitive markets
  • Experience in the natural foods industry, particularly in a retail setting and with knowledge of current industry trends.
  • Strategic planning experience
  • Ability to interpret financial statements to lay people
  • Independent (as opposed to chain) store management
  • Experience working for or serving on a board of directors
  • Co-operative management experience


Durham Central Market will provide its General Manager with salary and benefits commensurate with experience.

Application Process & Deadlines

Please include the following items in your application for the General Manager position:

  1. Cover letter explaining your background and interest in this position.
  2. Resume or CV.
  3. Three professional references including name, title, e-mail, phone number, and professional relationship.

Applications for this position will be accepted until March 15, 2014.

Please e-mail all inquiries and application materials to:

Visit the Market’s website at:

Contact name: 
General Manager Search Committee
Contact phone: