Every wonder how all that wonderful produce gets to our Community Natural Foods shelves? Well, meet Frank Sarro; he is the Fresh and Bulk Foods Category Manager. From the local tomatoes, crunchy greens, juicing carrots and gorgeous red peppers, to all of the Community Naturals bulk nuts and seeds; Frank is there every step of the way from farmer to store shelves.
Frank is the real deal. Working for Community since 1998; Frank spends time each year on farm visits both locally and regionally. He comments that his favorite part of the summer is touring the fields and getting to know the families behind the farms. The farm tours are the highlight of his years’ work. He even goes so far as to say he would do the tours even if he didn’t work for Community. His value of loyal long term relationships and a sustainable lifestyle has kept him dedicated to our business.
Frank works directly with our producers from near and far to coordinate the arrival of their product at our stores. This can be a real daily challenge.” We get a lot of our produce out of the BC so if the Rogers Pass is closed we don’t have product for our stores.” Says Frank. Each week Frank works with 5-15 different farms to coordinate their product for pick up on route to Calgary. This is no small feat! Not only does he work with them directly but as the Fresh manager he consults with them to develop their business and product offering to make it ideal for retail sales. No wonder Frank won the nationally recognized, Organic Achievement Award from the CHFA in 2009.
Frank has been involved in the organics industry for 18 years and has worked in the development of organics serving on various boards and organizations such as Organic Alberta. When asked what fuels his passion for the organics industry he replies, “I want to be part of the solution, to participate in the process, growth and advocacy of the organic agriculture”. He has also been an active member of the national Organic Value Chain Round Table, which is part of the Government of Canada’s ‘Growing Forward’ initiative, working to develop organics in Canada. Frank’s other industry participation has included a seat on the Canadian Health Food Association’s, Organic and Food Advisory Council.
When asked how he got into the organics industry, Frank replied with a laugh “the vegetables called!” Frank’s background is in the arts but feels like this has been a true calling. Working for Community Natural Foods matches his lifestyle and values. Work and non-work really meld into one.
Read Part two of Meet Frank here