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Our people on the front lines are the last connection, the last shot we have to influence consumers’ produce purchase decisions. Produce Retailer magazine is featuring exceptional in-store personnel, winners of the 2017 United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards.

The program, sponsored by Dole, recognizes 25 produce managers, the “best of the best” in produce departments across North America. While the big celebration dinner is held at United Fresh in Chicago in June, Produce Retailer plans to celebrate these winners all year.

Stay tuned for more over the coming months as we recognize these exceptional produce professionals. —Pamela Riemenschneider

PR: How long have you worked in retail and produce? 

41 years

PR: What do you love most about your job? 

I involved with customers every day. Produce is always interesting everyday with many different challenges such as building displays, pushing for sales, market issues that arise, weather challenges in the growing areas.

PR: What’s your biggest challenge as a retail produce manager? 

Providing the level of service and standards that I myself expect daily in my department.

PR: What has changed most in the produce department in the past five years? 10 years?

There is more automation and varieties coming into the market place

PR: What are some fruits and vegetables whose sales are growing faster than others right now?

Value added vegetables and fruits that are ready to consume by the customer without having to prepare themselves.

PR: What do you think the produce industry should do to raise consumption? 

It should educate and market new products to explain to our customers how to use, what it taste like, recipes etc.

​​​​​​​PR: What are some things you wish consumers understood better about the produce department?

Seasonality and how weather affects products

PR: What would you tell someone who was thinking about getting into the retail industry? 

That it is both rewarding and challenging at the same time.

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