Improve Operations


A great produce department can build your brand, wow customers, bring in profits and support local farmers. Investing in your produce department manager and staff can reap big rewards. Our produce consultant, James Morrell, can provide a variety of services to help your store excel. Our services include: 

General Services

  • On site and phone consultations
  • Systems development for single and multi-store formats
  • Department audit and systems review. Analysis and assessment of general departmental operations including opportunities for enhancement and written overview report.
  • Develop a departmental plan for growth and incremental improvement. Identify opportunities, emphasize strengths and focus on increasing value of the customer experience.

Improving Sales

  • Merchandising, layout and design
  • Training, techniques, and strategies to enhance current merchandising practices. Working towards the design and implementation of dynamic and effective merchandising approaches to drive sales, maximize product movement, and cultivate consistent positive growth in a highly competitive marketplace.
  • Review of impact, tools, and opportunities presented by current merchandising approach and visual presentation of department. Provide recommendations for physical layout, equipment, and category management. Development of short and mid-term improvement plans.
  • Customer Service Training for department teams in customer service basics and fresh department specific opportunities to make connections, increase engagement, and improve sales through outstanding customer service approaches.
  • Fresh Category Management; utilizing blended margins, diverse value criteria, and compelling product placement to provide dynamic item selection and increased customer participation.

Improving Financial Performance

  • Review of basic financial indicators including profit margins, labor percentages, and productivity measures.
  • Developing and utilizing reports to support department operation and advocate for resources.
  • Production of retail sales analysis reports, short term and long term sales and labor projections, and budget development.
  • Produce data tool kit.

Local Food Systems Development, Produce Sourcing, and Procurement Strategies

  • Local grower program development
  • Strategies for the cultivation of multi-tiered supplier systems and supporting operational management tools to secure local supply and maximize wholesale volume for regional farmers and producers.
  • Development of long term plan for local and regional supplier partnerships and mutually beneficial customer relationships for increased community food access and wider local distribution for participating growers.

Department Administration and Staffing

  • Team Building and Personnel Management
  • Interviewing & hiring
  • Development and implementation of training and personnel support systems; focusing on empowerment strategies, transparent communication, and open book management techniques with hiring, training, staff development, coaching communication, and labor administration; including Union Labor environments and collective bargaining unit considerations.


Associated Consultants

James Morrell

Produce Merchandising Consultant

“ James Morrell knows produce. If you have questions about creating vibrant produce displays, or managing employee and vendor relationships, or maintaining a profitable department, or starting a "buy local" campaign, James has a wealth of knowledge to share. ”

Danielle Thurston

“ Many moments spent in the produce department with James have yielded not only new handling and merchandising concepts but also a refreshing outlook on the importance of the work being done. ”

Michelle Langmaid, Organic Produce Specialist

“ As a produce vendor, I can honestly say that James has the best managed produce department I have worked with. ”

S'ra DeSantis, M.S., UVM Farmer Training Program Co-Director/Instructor

Associated Case Studies

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