Senior Produce Buyer

Job Locations US-IL-Bolingbrook
Requisition ID


Are you passionate about the retail grocery market and fresh, natural, & organic products? Are you a leader?  Are you ready to join one of the fastest growing companies in the retail grocery market?  If so, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is the place for you!  Our unique business model, fast paced and growing environment, promote from within culture, and excellent benefits make Fresh Thyme the best employer in the grocery market.  Careers have been blooming at Fresh Thyme since our inception in 2012 - yours should be no different!


The Senior Produce Buyer will be based in our distribution warehouse and be responsible for procurement & management of assigned commodities and suppliers.  The senior produce buyer will be responsible for training and mentoring buyers. 


Essential Duties & Responsibilities 

  • Negotiates and collaborates with suppliers on pricing, product assortment, promotions, ads, services, promotional calendars, and support; acts as primary contact with direct suppliers
  • Continuously stay ahead of market and industry trends to position the company for growth by securing the best possible product for the best possible price.
  • Seek out all local items available in all markets where we currently have stores and any new markets we will be entering.  Develop and sustain local grower base.
  • Procure new items to be first to market and ensure that end of season items are exited at the appropriate time. 
  • Manage inventory, shrink, & service levels to meet or exceed company expectations 
  • Frequently inspect and assess all incoming goods to ensure that the quality & sizing is within Fresh Thyme specs   
  • Daily warehouse walks to determine condition of all products in order to ensure that stores are receiving the right quality & sizing that is expected 
  • Manage purchase decisions and order fulfillment with a daily goal to achieve a 100% fill rate 
  • Seek & communicate all opportunity & spot buys 
  • Monitor and report items/categories/business trends in the industry & maintain awareness of market trends, technology, & weather across all categories & growing regions
  • Responsible for gathering food safety and organic certification documents from suppliers
  • Participating in and or facilitating vendor business reviews
  • Maintain awareness of Fresh Thyme’s marketing strategies and competitor’s activities & pricing
  • Manage USDA inspection process when necessary
  • Manage & review current suppliers’ performances and work diligently with them to improve.  Continuously seek out new vendor partners
  • Attends key vendor company planning meetings & industry events
  • Conducts post promotional analysis to track sales to ensure proper projections for future promotions
  • Maintains and reviews price files and competitive price checks to ensure we have costs that allow us to be priced competitively within each market we operate.
  • Visits Fresh Thyme stores as necessary to observe merchandising plans and inspect quality in coolers and sales floor
  • Other duties as assigned. 


Education and Experience

  • Minimum of 5+ years of produce procurement experience.
  • Previous experience in a natural foods industry is a plus.
  • Financial, mathematical, statistical and consumer research experience preferred to read, interpret and understand how internal and external factors influence financial results.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent produce industry experience is a plus


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Must maintain the highest level of customer service at all times.
  • Ability to adapt to the ever-changing high volume retail while working in a cross-functional team environment.
  • Must have the capacity to take initiative for making appropriate decisions and have strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Flexibility to adapt in a variety of situations.
  • Must have advanced attention to detail with the capability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written communication and documentation skills.
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills for maintaining effective business relationships with peers, senior management, customers, and vendors.
  • Must have advanced knowledge with MS Office including Outlook, Word, and Excel.
  • Ability to multitask and have excellent organizational skills is essential.
  • Must be able to lead, support and contribute to team goals. 
  • Ability to work varied hours/days as business dictates.
  • Must be familiar with Health Department guidelines and regulations as they pertain to a grocery retail environment.
  • Understanding of USDA inspection guidelines. Certification a plus.
  • Familiarity with Category Business Planning with an understanding of marketing and merchandising practices.
  • Possesses the ability to read and interpret profit and loss statements and understand how the categories managed are affected.
  • Has excellent people skills for training and communicating with customers and stores; requires a high level of patience.



  • 0–10 lbs. Occasionally 1–33%
  • 11–25 lbs. Occasionally 1–33%
  • 26–50 lbs. Occasionally 1–33%
  • 51–100 lbs. Never 0%



About Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market: 

‘Supermarket of the year in 2016’ by Grocery Headquarters magazine.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings. We have opened up over 60 stores since 2013!  Our stores boasts an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables, a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 300 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen, and health supplement products. At Fresh Thyme, we believe you shouldn’t have to give away the farm to feed your body nutritious food. We’re on a mission to improve the way our communities eat by offering fresh and healthy food at amazing values -all in a vibrant and fun shopping environment, with smiling friendly faces. Our stores don’t follow traditional grocery store design, nor do they have tall aisles or glitzy fixtures. In fact, our stores are so simple and easy to navigate that we don’t number our aisles or hand out store maps. We believe shopping for fresh and healthy food should be easy and enjoyable.



Please click on the short video hyperlink about Fresh Thyme and see what we're all about:


About Fresh Thyme Farmers Market




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